The Leas School,  Hoylake

Sailor: Michael Tomkinson

contributed by Adrian Stevenson

from Liverpool Echo, 5 Sep 1956

Mothers Watched Search For Sons

Lifeboat finds boys at 1.30 a.m.

Drifting Out To Sea

Went sailing

Two anxious mothers spent over 12 hours in a coastguard look-out shelter at Rhoscolyn, Anglesey, yesterday, scanning Rhoscolyn Bay for a tiny boat in which their sons were being carried away by a seven-knot tide.

The boys, Michael Tomlinson[sic], aged 14, of 13 Prenton Lane, Prenton, Birkenhead, who is on a caravan holiday with his mother, brother, and sister at Pentre Gwyddel, Rhoscolyn, and John de Figueiredo, aged 13, son of a Liverpool cotton broker, who is staying in a caravan at Pentre Iago, Rhoscolyn, went sailing in a Cadet type yacht after lunch yesterday and soon found themselves in difficulties when the boat was carried away from shore.

The mothers notified the police at Trearddur Bay, coastguards and lifesaving crews were warned and the Holyhead lifeboat launched.


For hours the mothers watched through the windows of the lookout and as night fell could see the searchlights on the lifeboat as she continued the operation. At the same time police and coastguards, assisted by volunteers, searched the rocky coastline of the Holy Island for traces of the boat.

Soon after midnight heavy rain fell, reducing visibility, but the search continued and at 1.30 a.m. the boat was found drifting quite a distance out to sea from the South Stack.

The boys, none the worse for their prolonged sail, were taken aboard the lifeboat and given hot drinks. Their boat was taken in tow. In the meantime the lifeboat's radio flashed the good news to coastguard control at Holyhead and when the lifeboat returned at 3.30 a.m. the two mothers were waiting on the slipway.

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