Barrow Lifeboat Station’s volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat this evening following reports of an inflatable seen drifting out to sea off the west side of Walney Island.
The call for assistance came from the regional HM Coastguard base in Holyhead at 6:10pm this evening. The information received was that a member of the public had reported seeing a small white inflatable object drifting out to sea approximately half a mile west of Earnse Bay.
The crew was paged and the all-weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 6:34pm under the command of Coxswain, Shaun Charnley, assisted by five crew.
The lifeboat proceeded towards the last known sighting of the object and reached the scene at 7pm where it commenced a search pattern. Within a few minutes the lifeboat had located the object which turned out to be a white inflatable unicorn.
With the inflatable recovered to the lifeboat the search pattern was resumed in order to ensure that there had been no one with it. Furness Coastguard was also in attendance searching the shoreline and assisting with communications from those who witnessed the incident.
The lifeboat was stood down at 7:18pm with HM Coastguard content that the inflatable found matched the description of the one observed drifting out to sea.
The lifeboat returned to the boathouse and was back on station at 8:10pm.
The weather at the time of the incident was fine and clear. The wind was east, north-easterly, Force 5, and the high tide was at 7:15pm with a height of 6.9 metres.