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Barrow RNLI lifeboat responds to late-night call for help

“Grace Dixon” returning to the lifeboat station just after midnight.

Barrow Lifeboat Station’s volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat late last night following reports that a small boat had lost engine power off the south end of Walney Island.

The request to launch came from the HM Coastguard base in Holyhead just after 10-30pm.

The Coastguard received the distress call from an individual on Piel Island who stated that a small vessel, with one person on board, had set off from the island but had broken down and was drifting in the vicinity of Halfway Shoal, south of Walney Island.

A passing dredger, the ‘Freeway’, also spotted the casualty vessel and was able to give a more accurate position stating that the stricken boat was close to the Outer Bar Buoy in Walney Channel.

The crew was paged and the all-weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 10:55pm under the command of Coxswain, Shaun Charnley, assisted by a crew of six.

The casualty vessel had no means of communication and in case it was drifting into shallower water, the inshore lifeboat, ‘Vision of Tamworth’, was also made ready and put on standby in case further assistance was required.

Barrow RNLI spokesman Chris Clouter said: “The lifeboat was quickly on the scene and was able to take the casualty under tow and return it safely to a mooring off Piel Island.

“The person on board the small pleasure boat was uninjured and was given appropriate safety advice by the lifeboat crew.”

The lifeboat returned to the boathouse at 12:10am where it was cleaned and made ready for the next launch.

The wind at the time of the incident was north-easterly, Force 2-3, and the next high tide was due at 3:46am with a predicted height of 8.1 metres.

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