Simultaneous shouts for Airport Emergency and Mersey Ferry for RNLI New Brighton

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date: 10/07/2016

It turned out a busy afternoon for New Brighton lifeboat station crews. Starting at just after 1 pm with a report of an aeroplane in difficulty approaching Speke Airport and followed almost immediately with news that a Mersey Ferry had run aground.

It turned out a busy afternoon for New Brighton lifeboat station crews. Starting at just after 1 pm with a report of an aircraft in difficulty approaching Speke Airport and followed almost immediately with news that a Mersey Ferry had run aground.

Our hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit had just taken off on a training exercise when the call came from HM Coastguard regarding the aircraft in difficulty on its way to Speke Airport. The hovercraft headed down the River Mersey towards the airport. Merseyside Fire & Rescue craft Marine Fire One was also sent to the area.

Meanwhile our Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-837 Charles Dibdin was also preparing to go on exercise but not yet afloat when the second call came in regarding the Mersey Ferry Royal Iris with 78 people on board that was reported to have run aground and taking in water at the stern. It was in the River near to the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal at Eastham. The lifeboat was launched and headed down river. The aircraft landed safely and the hovercraft was requested to head towards the ferry incident followed a bit later by Marine Fire One. Also in the River area was the Liverpool Pilot boat Kittiwake and this diverted towards the incident.

The Royal Iris was in the River just outside the Manchester Ship Canal lock gates. Tied up alongside was the dredger Deo-Gloria which was in the process of taking on board the ferries passengers and crew. While this was happening our lifeboat and hovercraft stood by in case anyone was unfortunate enough to fall into the River. Upon completion of this the exercise the ferry was manoeuvred back into the lock gates by the dredger. Our lifeboat, Marine Fire One and the Kittiwake positioned themselves using their bows along the side of the ferry to ensured it kept position while it was being towed into the lock by the dredger.

Upon completion of this exercise the lock gates were closed our craft were stood down. The hovercraft returned to New Brighton for refuel, wash down and check over while our lifeboat headed to Blundellsands Sailing Club who were celebrating with their RNLI Lifeboat Day before returning to base about 5pm.

On shore were representatives of the emergency services who looked after the passengers and crew, who’s day trip along the Manchester Ship Canal had come to a premature end, until a series of coaches arrived to take them to their destination.

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