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Fleetwood RNLI in old lifeboat rescue

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 22 February, Fleetwood RNLI were called by HM Coastguard to attend to a vessel that had broken down near Skippool Creek.

The volunteer crew were surprised to discover the vessel was an old Watson class lifeboat, built over 100 years ago. The lifeboat, named ON 530 Oldham was built in 1904 and served time in Abersoch on the Lleyn Peninsula. It launched over 30 times and saved 69 lives.

In the 1960’s, she was converted to a yacht and renamed Grey Dawn and went on to compete in races around Europe. Grey Dawn then ended up in Skippool Creek and was recently purchased by Fleetwood lad, Paul Mills, who plans to restore her to former glory. Unfortunately, on its voyage from Skippool to Fleetwood, the engine, which hadn’t been run for some time, broke down.

The Fleetwood inshore lifeboat, Mary Elizabeth Barnes and the all-weather lifeboat, Kenneth James Pierpoint attended the incident. A volunteer lifeboat crew member was put aboard the yacht and the Grey Dawn with Paul and his three friends still aboard, were towed back to Jubilee Quay in Fleetwood.

Once safely ashore, Paul said ‘ Big thanks to Fleetwood lifeboat for coming out to me. They don’t get enough credit for what they do. But I for one, will always have respect for the team. Thanks guys.’

Notes to editors

  • Fleetwood lifeboat station opened in 1859, and is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.

  • A video of the incident should be available soon from the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

  • More photos of the incident are available

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Fleetwood RNLI tow the vessel to safety

RNLI/Danielle Rush

Fleetwood RNLI tow the vessel to safety

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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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