Ian Davies (Hoylake RNLI) sends in news of a final refit for The Lady Of Hilbre and a hoax call.
On 31/01/2010 as Hoylake Lifeboat The Lady of Hilbre was launched to undertake a passage to Holyhead for a refit, her replacement also a Mersey class RNLI Lifeboat Royal Shipwright was just entering Hoylake Lifeboats patch, with the transfer of call sign and equipment completed, Royal Shipwright now assumed the guise of Hoylake Lifeboat and continued on her way to Hoylake Lifeboat Station.
As the recovery procedure was just beginning, Rhyl RNLI Lifeboat reported hearing the spoken words Mayday and Quebec One, Rhyl Lifeboat was tasked to the River Dee along with West Kirby inshore Lifeboat. Hoylake and New Brighton RNLI Lifeboats were tasked to Quebec 1 which is a navigational buoy at the entrance to the River Mersey where both rescue craft were designated search patterns by Liverpool Coastguard who were coordinating the search.
After searching for 3 hours with nothing being found or heard again it was decided to stand the four RNLI lifeboats down and assume that this call was a hoax.
Royal Shipwright is expected to be stationed at Hoylake for the next 3 months while the 19 year old The Lady Of Hilbre has her last refit of her operational life and then completes sea trials before returning to station as Hoylake Lifeboat.