Lifeboat holiday rescue dramas

A yacht named Biscuit Too! was stranded near Fleetwood docks.
A yacht named Biscuit Too! was stranded near Fleetwood docks.

FLEETWOOD Lifeboat was involved in one of its busiest Bank Holiday weekends in recent years.

Veteran lifeboat fundraiser Bryce Goulding stressed the importance of supporting this vital service after the lifeboat was involved in four separate rescue missions in 19 hours of action.

In one of the rescues, the Lifeboat stopped a boat drifting dangerously towards a wind turbine.

Mr Goulding said: “Without this service people die and it’s as simple as that.

“That’s why it’s important to raise money, so we get the money to invest in the boats to save people’s lives.”

A family from York had their holiday cut short when there yacht – Biscuit Too – ran aground on the sandbank close to the shoreline at midday on Monday.

The infamous sandbank, which caught out the Spanish trawler Erimo in 2000, trapped the family of four in the yacht before the inshore lifeboat was able to take them to safety.

Biscuit Too was left isolated by the tide for 12 hours until the lifeboat was able to escort it to Fleetwood Marina once the tide went out at midnight and the crews were able to re-float the yacht.

None of the family were injured in the rescue and they were reunited with the 20ft vessel.

Tony Clark, a spokesman for Fleetwood RNLI, said: “It was a busy Bank Holiday and it has been a busy start to the year.

“We only had 38 call-outs in the whole of last year and it was a quiet one but this year we have stepped up to the mark.”

Strong winds and technical failures over the weekend also played their part.

After crews had been stood down from helping Biscuit Too, they were alerted to another yacht in difficulty eight miles north of Barrow Wind Farm.

The Karanga, with one elderly male crew member on board, had lost all power and was floating dangerously into the nearby wind farm.

Mr Clark added: “Due to the inclement weather he was unable to sail and it was too rough to put a crew member on board.

“The man was quite fatigued when we got to him, but we managed to tow the yacht back into the marina.”

Crews first received a call on Friday morning to help the Quest, a small fishing boat which was left stranded at sea after a mechanical fault.

The lifeboat’s Re-Supply Rescue Boat towed the vessel back into Fleetwood Marina and it will remain on a lifeboat mooring until it can be repaired.

A technical failure was to blame for the emergency team’s other Bank Holiday Monday call out, as a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) ran out of fuel short of Fleetwood Harbour.

The Inshore Lifeboat was able to tow the boat in to safety and no injuries were sustained in the rescue.