Jul 27, 2016
Early launch to 9.4m ketch in poor weather conditions
Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning to a yacht in difficulties off the Dee estuary. In a freshening wind the lifeboat was called to assist after the yachtsman became disorientated in poor weather and sea conditions. The 9.4 metre ketch Michette was on passage to Liverpool. It had been anchored overnight in Hilbre Pool on the lee side of Hilbre Island. After leaving the anchorage on the rising tide she encountered freshening winds near the extension to the Burbo windfarm off the North Wirral coast. The experienced skipper called the coastguard for assistance when the weather and sea conditions worsened.
Hoylake lifeboat volunteers were paged at 4.44 am and were able to effect a rapid launch of their lifeboat, the Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood left the slipway at 04.57 am. The lifeboat with RNLI Staff Coxswain Tom Stuart in command was able to reach the casualty within 30 minutes. A member of the crew was then put on board the ketch to assist in securing a towline and the tow was underway before 06.00 am. The lifeboat entered the River Mersey at approximately 07.30 am and then proceeded to moorings at Tranmere where the casualty was safely secured about two hours later.
Dave Mackenzie, the crew member who was on board the casualty and spoke to its skipper said; 'The yachtsman was very competent and well-equipped. He made the right decision to call for assistance early. We were able to come to his aid rapidly and help him before the situation deteriorated and became much more serious.'
The RNLI lifeboat then returned to her station at Hoylake where she was washed down, refuelled and made ready for service by 12.30 pm.