This afternoon at 3.15pm Liverpool Coastguard received a report from a member of the public that there was a small boat adrift with nobody aboard off the ‘The Battery’ at Morecambe, Lancashire.
A coastguard from Morecambe Coastguard Rescue Team quickly assessed that the boat ‘Toucan’ was drifting toward Heysham. The RNLI Hovercraft also from Morecambe was requested to launch and retrieved the 22ft vessel, towing it back to Morecambe before securing it close to the RNLI boathouse.
Extensive investigations ensued, through local contacts, to ascertain the owner of the ‘Toucan’ and at 7.10 this evening Liverpool Coastguard received information that the boat was very likely to come adrift again and that acquaintances of the owner would attempt to take it back to its original mooring.
At 8.30pm Liverpool Coastguard received a report that a group of people including a child were trying to secure the ‘Toucan’ but were in imminent danger of being cut off by the fast incoming tide. Once again the Morecambe Coastguard Rescue Team and Morecambe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat were requested to go to the scene by Liverpool Coastguard. Simultaneously Liverpool Coastguard received a 999 call from one of the men trying to recover the boat, that he was then surrounded by water and had his young son with him who was extremely cold and upset.
Morecambe RNLI Hovercraft launched to the father and son, returning them ashore to the mother and a waiting ambulance. A third man, who made it to the ‘Toucan’, returned it to its original mooring under constant surveillance by both coastguards and the RNLI. Once the vessel was moored he was assisted back ashore by the Morecambe RNLI Inshore Lifeboat.
Watch Officer Ian Jackson of Liverpool Coastguard said,
“Whilst we understand these people had every good intention when trying to retrieve the ‘Toucan’ we cannot emphasise enough that attempting this at twilight, without any safety or life saving equipment or even a torch is extremely rash, especially so as they took with them a youngster.
Always check the weather and tidal conditions before you set out on a visit to the coast so that you can prepare accordingly. Consider whether you could become cut off and do not take risks.”