At 9:35 pm last night [ 2nd July ] HM Coastguard Holyhead advised us that they had received a Mayday from a craft reported to be in the vicinity of the Rock Channel that was taking on water.
We launched our lifeboat Atlantic 85 B-837 Charles Dibdin to carry out a search for the vessel. Also scrambled for the search were the Merseyside Fire & Rescue craft Marine Fire One and HMS Archer the Royal Navy training vessel that was in the Mersey to escort the Cunards Queen Elizabeth when she sails later in the evening following the Cunard building centenary celebrations.
The light was starting to fade with choppy sea conditions in the estuary and wind around force 5.
Our lifeboat crew conducted a search along the Rock Channel that runs off from the Wirral Coast, then back to Fort Perch Rock area, across to Crosby and finally to check the small boats moored off from New Brighton and down to Seacombe Ferry.
Nothing was found by any of the searching vessels and the search was finally called off by HM Coastguard.
In the meantime in Liverpool there was a major firework display for the Cunard celebrations and the Queen Elizabeth sailing.
Returning to New Brighton for lifeboat recovery, river conditions were rather choppy with tractor driver Mike Jones doing a first class job positioning the rig in the surf and Mike Plaskett on the lifeboats helm did a great job manouvering the lifeboat into the carriage first time in the difficult conditions. Our lifeboat then returned to base for wash down, refuel and check over around 10:30pm.