In the later part of the 1950’s there had been a huge rise in leisure activates in and on the inshore waters of Great Britain. With this came an increase in the number of Lifeboat call outs, many where bathers and small watercraft such as small yachts, dinghy’s and lilo’s where speed was vital to reach the casualty. So, in May 1963 the RNLI introduced its first small highspeed inflatable Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB), now known as the D Class Inshore Lifeboat (ILB). In May 1966 Fleetwood was to get one for these boats IRB 91. The first service for the IRB was at 3.20am on October 15th 1966 to transfer a crew member of the fishing boat “bingo” on to the Larger Lifeboat “Ann Letitia Russell”. Until 1984 the Inshore Lifeboat was only on Station at Fleetwood from Easter weekend until the end of October as these where the busiest months for the Inshore Lifeboat. The ILB is now on Station at Fleetwood all year round.
The most notable rescue for Fleetwood’s Inshore Lifeboat was on March 23rd1984. At 17.49 Liverpool Coast Guard requested that the Fleetwood ILB to launch in aid of a wind surfer in trouble in an SSE force 8 gale opposite Rossall Hospital. The Relief ILB D-169 on temporary duty at Fleetwood was launched at 18.00 under the command of second Coxswain Stephen Musgrave with a crew of two, Barrie Farmer and David Owen. The ILB made its way across the shallow water of the Neckings towards rossall point. With it being 2½ after high water the water was getting shallower and shallower when the ILB reached Rossall Point the sea conditions rapidly worsened with breaking waves up to 8ft high, the ILB managed to make it round the Point safely and headed to the position of the casualty. At 18.15 the ILB reached the casualty, the surfer was taken aboard, and a successful attempt was made to recover the sail board. Now with the tide well on its way out there was not enough water for the ILB to cross the Neckings, Helmsman Musgrave had to take the ILB out to King scar Buoy and back down the Fleetwood channel, with the ILB full of water, four persons onboard and the heavily breaking seas the ILB was struggling to make her way though the water but with the expert seamanship of the helmsman and the crew they made it to King Scar Buoy and headed for home. After they turned around the Buoy it was possible to bail out some of the water and get the boat home safely arriving back at the boathouse at 19.20.
Stationed at Fleetwood
No.91 Unnamed 1966 - 1970 34 Launches 88 Lives Saved
D-187 Unnamed 1970 - 1984 136 Launches 8 Lives Saved
D-298 Unnamed 1984 - 1992 62 Launches 9 Lives Saved
D-424 City of Chester 1992 - 2000 187 Launches 24 Lives Saved
D-556 Saddleworth 2000 - 2009 293 Launches 14 Lives Saved
D-719 Mary Elizabeth Barnes 2009- To Date Due to be Replaced Summer 2020
Relief Inshore Lifeboats
Stationed at Fleetwood
D-131 Unnamed 1979 3 Launches 0 Lives Saved
D-107 Unnamed 1980 2 Launches 0 Lives Saved
D-121 Unnamed 1980/81 4 Launches 0 Lives Saved
D-162 Unnamed 1983 4 Launches 0 Lives Saved
D-189 Unnamed 1984 1 Launch 0 Lives Saved
D-169 Unnamed 1984/85 2 Launches 1 Life Saved
D-191 Unnamed 1985/86 12 Launches 2 Lives Saved
Fleetwoods first Inshore Rescue Boat D91
The Naming Ceremony of D719 15th May 2010
Fleetwood RNLI has had 6 in-shore lifeboats stationed at Fleetwood,
aswell as a number of relief in-shore lifeboats.