RNLI Have a Heavy Night
Fierce weather conditions sweeping the UK and Ireland have meant a busy time for the RNLI's volunteer crews. The charity's crews have been braving the conditions to help others in danger at sea.
RNLI lifeboats from Fleetwood and Lytham St Annes launched to a stricken Seatruck ferry, Riverdance, with 23 people on board, which grounded in the Irish Sea, five miles off Blackpool on the January 31st. By 9.30pm, in force 10 winds, treacherous sea conditions and darkness, both lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, were on scene to assist rescue helicopters, which were winching passengers to safety.
Despite the perilous conditions, both lifeboats remained on standby while 14 passengers were rescued. In the early hours of the morning, both lifeboats were stood down, but the Fleetwood RNLI lifeboat was relaunched at 5.00am when the nine crew still aboard Riverdance issued a Mayday call as conditions worsened. The lifeboat remained on scene until 8.30am.
Meanwhile, the Stornoway RNLI crew launched in violent storm force 11 conditions shortly after 6am this morning to assist The Spinning Dale, a grounded trawler taking on water on the St Kilda islands, off the coast of Scotland. All 14 crew from the trawler are now safely back on dry land.
RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto says, 'It is in severe weather conditions such as these that our crews are most needed. They are volunteers, on call 24/7, willing to be called in the middle of the night.
'As a charity, the RNLI relies on these brave and dedicated crews. When you consider they head off into such fierce conditions to save the lives of others, with little thought for their own safety, they are truly remarkable.'
RNLI lifeboats were also launched from Alderney, Chiswick, Minehead, St Davids and Tenby yesterday.
For more information on the RNLI please visit: www.rnli.org.uk or www.rnli.ie
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