Two people have been found safe and well following an extensive search after their boat was reported as overdue off Fleetwood in Lancashire.
Blackpool RNLI volunteers were called out at 10.15pm on Thursday night (24 November) after the UK Coastguard became concerned for the welfare of a small boat that had launched from Knott End but had not returned to shore.
The boat and its two occupants left Knott End on Thursday morning for a day of fishing but had not returned and attempts to contact the vessel were unsuccessful.
Volunteers from Blackpool RNLI, Fleetwood RNLI and Coastguard Rescue Teams from Lytham and Fleetwood carried out an extensive search from Blackpool RNLI lifeboat station to Fleetwood and eventually found the casualty vessel about a mile off Cleveleys.
The occupants of the boat were both safe and well and were planning to continue fishing overnight, however, poor weather was expected later so they were taken aboard Fleetwood RNLI all weather lifeboat and their boat was towed to Knott End.
Blackpool RNLI volunteer helmsman Colin Lowe said, ‘the people we were searching for this evening turned out to be safe and well and that’s always a relief for us. At this time of year the freezing temperatures mean cold water shock and hypothermia can set in within minutes if someone falls into the water so we were just pleased that they were both ok.
"It’s far better to be safe than sorry so always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you have any concerns.
"We also recommend that all boats carry a reliable means of contacting the Coastguard and that people tell someone where they are planning to go and when they expect to get back."
Duty controller for UK Coastguard Dai Jones said: "The vessel had been out for 12 hours with no sign of a return. We were unable to contact them to find out where they were and a search was carried out. Although they were safely anchored we advised them to come in.
"Our advice remains the same. If you’ re going out on your boat, make sure you carry means to contact the Coastguard if you get into trouble, but also make sure that someone knows where you plan to go and when you intend to be back."