Happy ending to Fleetwood RNLI boat rescue saga

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The grateful owners of an old rowing boat retrieved by Fleetwood RNLI from the sea two years ago have contacted the lifeboatmen to share a photo of its transformation.

Phil Smith and James Walker after the vessel was rescued

Phil Smith and James Walker after the vessel was rescued

Back in August 2019, the inshore lifeboat ‘Mary Elizabeth Barnes’ D-719, was tasked by HM Coastguard to investigate a small boat, spotted floating way out in Morecambe Bay by a passing merchant ship.

Fortunately, there was nobody aboard and she was towed back to the lifeboat station.

The name on the little boat was almost illegible, but the team took a guess and asked on their social media accounts if anybody knew who owned it.

My Girls is now restored

My Girls is now restored

Incredibly, Lancaster men Phil Smith and James Walker saw the posting, identified it as ‘My Girls’ a boat they lost off Sunderland Point in 2017, during a storm – two years previously.

They never thought they’d see it again.

The vessel had been bought as a project to help local youngsters learn joinery skills.

Today, the boat has been transformed with the help of some of those youngsters and James has been back in touch with the Fleetwood RNLI lads to thank them again and show them My Girls in her newly revamped state.

With a new lick of paint and fully restored, Phil and James now take the boat out fishing in Morecambe Bay

Ken Harcombe from Fleetwood RNLI, said: “The latest photo shows My Girls in all her glory, looking fantastic.

“We thanked James for sending us the update. It’s brilliant news.”

Phil Smith explained how they’d moored up at Sunderland Point after salmon fishing, in the summer of 2017, and said it must have drifted off and got caught in the marshes.

Phil said: “We never thought we’d see My Girls again. She was in remarkably good condition, considering.”