Fleetwood’s new £2.2m lifeboat has been called into action for the first time.
The new Shannon-class lifeboat, Kenneth James Pierpoint, responded to a call to assist with a yacht which had run aground near the entrance to Fleetwood Marina on Saturday.
Volunteer lifeboat crew were out on an exercise aboard the vessel when a call came in from Holyhead Coastguard to help out with the yacht.
The lifeboat arrived at the scene to discover the pleasure craft listing to one side.
The Fleetwood ‘D’ class inshore boat was tasked to remove the crew from the boat for their own safety. It was agreed with Fleetwood Coastguard and the yacht crew, to wait for the next high tide, later in the evening and Fleetwood RNLI would assist with the refloat.
Steve Carroll, coxswain on the Kenneth James Pierpoint for the day said: ‘We decided to remove the crew from the yacht for their own safety. No doubt this will be the first of many call outs for the new lifeboat. It was good to get the first one done and everyone back safely.’
The Kenneth James Pierpoint first arrived at her new home in Fleetwood on Sunday June 26. A huge 1,000-strong crowd gathered to see delivery of new rescue vessel to the town. Capable of speeds of 25 knots, the Kenneth James Pierpoint is almost 50 per cent faster than predecessor, William Street, and is more manoeuvrable - increasing the chances of saving their lives.
The Fleetwood crews have undergone special training in the state-of-the-art vessel.
Fleetwood is one of the busiest lifeboat stations in the north of England, with some 85 call-out misions launched last year.
Dave Eccles, Fleetwood RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said Fleetwood Lifeboat was proud to have such an impressive vessel.