Update relating to yesterday’s multi-agency Search and Rescue mission. 👇
Lifeboat volunteers in long search after report of man missing in sea
Three RNLI lifeboats and Coastguards search near North Pier, Blackpool
The Coastguard CGOC (Coastguard Operations Centre, Holyhead) received an unconfirmed report that a man had been seen in the sea at Blackpool at around 9.25am on Saturday 21st November 2020. They requested Lytham St Annes All-weather Lifeboat (ALB) Barbara Anne launch under the command of Coxswain Tom Stuart as well as one of Blackpool Inshore Lifeboats (ILB) D-732 to search the area around North Pier. They were joined by a Coastguard helicopter R936 from Caernarfon airport and land based Coastguard Rescue Teams scouring the shoreline. The sea conditions were poor, especially for the crew in the open Blackpool ILB, with a near gale, south westerly force 7 wind, gusting at times to gale force 8 blowing but this fortunately eased as the service progressed to a force 5 and veered to the north west. The Blackpool ILB was replaced in the search around lunch time by the Fleetwood ALB Kenneth James Pierpoint and the Coastguard helicopter by a 2nd Coastguard helicopter R912.
A thorough search was made of the entire area, sadly without success although doubts still existed that someone was actually missing. The search was called off around 4pm after over six hours and the two lifeboats then at sea returned to their respective stations. The Lytham St Annes lifeboat was then recovered onto her SLRS launch & recovery vehicle before being returned to her boathouse to be refuelled, washed off and checked over in readiness for her next service, all of which took another hour and a half.
Duty Launching Authority Laurence Foster later said, “It was a necessary but time consuming service for the volunteer lifeboat crews with no satisfactory outcome at the end of it. We can only hope that it was a false alarm with good intent in the first place and nobody is missing.”
David Forshaw (Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Press Officer)
Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Barbara Anne searching off Blackpool on 21st November 2020. (photos by Andy Hall)