Lytham St Annes lifeboat searches for a woman missing at Blackpool

Lifeboats News Release

Night time call out for RNLI Lifeboat Volunteers

A lifeboat is being washed off on a slipway in the darkness

RNLI/David Forshaw

Lytham St Annes Lifeboat returns to station on 24th August 2018

The Lytham St Annes Lifeboat volunteer crew were called out in the early hours of Friday morning (24th August 2018) to search for a woman missing, presumed in the sea, off North Shore, Blackpool.

The All-weather lifeboat (ALB) crew were paged at 1.28am to search in conditions too dangerous for the smaller Blackpool inshore lifeboats to launch. The Barbara Anne was launched off her carriage and thoroughly searched the sea between South Pier and as far as the Imperial Hotel. Reversing her track, she then searched the area between there and Squires Gate / Starr Gate on her return southwards. With a Force 7 near gale blowing and 5 to 6 metre (20 feet) swells the conditions were taxing for the volunteer crew of six. The Blackpool ILB on her carriage towed behind their Land Rover and the Lytham Coastguard mobile unit meanwhile searched along the shoreline for the missing woman. The search was called off by Marine Rescue Co-ordinating Centre (H.M. Coastguard, Holyhead) as more details placed doubt on the original thought that the woman had gone into the sea.

The Barbara Anne returned to station and was recovered onto her carriage before returning to her boathouse at a quarter past five in the morning. She was then washed off and refuelled by 6am when the crew and Shore Crew were able to return home where most planned to have a bite of breakfast before setting off for work.

Crewman Rob Stephenson said, “It wasn’t pleasant out there with a very rough sea and swells up to 6 metres high but we did a thorough search before it was called off. It appears to have been a false alarm with good intent but we would rather make sure nobody is out there than not go”.

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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