Storm-lashed ordeal for Saddleworth Parish Council chairman on Isle of Man trip

THE BRAVE Chairman of Saddleworth Parish Council has relived about her ordeal on a storm-lashed boat returning to the UK on polling day.

Cllr Nicola Kirkham (right) and her Chairman’s Lady, Cllr Katrina Roman, at an event organised by Delph Community Association to raise funds for the Chapel Gardens

Cllr Nicola Kirkham had sailed to the Isle of Man with her sister, Joanne Walker, and friends on a powerful 80-ft boat from Liverpool.

Nicola, who also serves on OMBC, had arranged a trip to coincide with the TT races and stayed on board at a berth in Douglas Marina.

But their return journey on June 8 turned into a nightmare after the boat, with five on board, ran into a Force Seven gale.

They had to call out emergency coastguard and rescue services after the craft lost power and floundered at the mouth of the River Mersey.

Back safety in Delph, Nicola, who was elected as chairman of Saddleworth Parish Council in May, relived her three-hour ordeal.

“I never felt threatened,” she declared. “But without any power, the boat was bucking and heaving. We were all being thrown from side to side.

“We were also in a major sea lane with lots of passing vessels. One passenger cargo ship tried to hitch us up without any luck.

“The rescue craft managed to get a line on board and one of their crew took charge of the tow back to the port. We moored at a pontoon in the River Mersey and everything was fine.

“The Irish Sea was really very choppy but the coastguard rescue was absolutely brilliant. I’ve sent them thanks and congratulations.”

She added: “I got back in time to cast my vote on election night. However, at one time I thought I may be a floating voter!”


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