RNLI team in Ribble rescue

Lytham lifeboat

Lytham lifeboat

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Ten people were rescued from the River Ribble after their boats overturned in strong winds.

Members of the Lytham St Annes RNLI team were called following the incident, which happened around 2pm yesterday.

Strong winds in the Ribble Estuary had scattered several yachts taking part in a Ribble Cruising Club race.

Six boats were reported in difficulties with 10 people in the water after their vessels capsized.

The crew’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched to help with the rescue, as well as the Southport volunteer rescue boat and the Ribble Cruising Club rescue boat.

Most of the casualties were quickly found and checked by waiting ambulance crews – but two people were still reported missing in a 5m dinghy.

An hour later the Lytham St Annes inshore lifeboat Sally found the vessel near Freckleton after an hour searching up river. The two men on board confirmed they had not been in difficulties and had decided to sail towards Preston.

The Lifeboat stayed with them for a short time to make sure all was working correctly before leaving the yacht to enter Freckleton Creek.

Coxswain Martin Jaggs said: “Although it turned out that the call to the final casualty was actually a false alarm, it had been correct to call out the lifeboat in that situation when it was unknown what had happened to the vessel and its crew.”