Saving Fleetwoods Historic Lifeboat
Registered Charity No:1166752
On 13 April 1945, a Wellington Bomber was on a training mission flying of Fleetwood got in to difficulties and crashed in to the calm sea 1-mile NW of the Lifeboat House.
At the time of the Aircraft crash Motor Mechanic Sydney Hill was working on the Lifeboat inside the Lifeboat House, The Coastguard telephoned the Lifeboat House at 10:50am to request that the Lifeboat to be launched immediately on request of the Resident Naval Officer, with the Coxswain and other crew members not being readily available Motor Mechanic Sydney Hill gathered a scratch crew together made up of passers-by, an Able Seaman of the Royal Naval Reserves, 2 U.S. Army Corporals and a Civilian visitor. Motor Mechanic Sydney Hill launched the RNLB Ann Letitia Russell at 11:10am into a force 2 south wind on a flooding tide and proceeded to the casualty at full speed and arriving at the Aircraft at 11:20am. The Lifeboat began to search the area for the missing airmen, 3 airmen were picked up by a fishing boat and sadly 1 died later in hospital, the other 4 missing airmen were trapped inside the Aircraft and died.
The Lifeboat returned to the Lifeboat House at 12noon.
On return to the Lifeboat House the RNLB Ann Letitia Russell was damage, as the Lifeboat was being hauled up on to the slip the portside bollard snapped snapping the span rope, the span rope hit the head of the head launcher William Wright, he was taken to hospital for treatment and sadly died from his injury’s.