AN Ellesmere Port family headed to Hoylake today (Tuesday, December 10) to thank a charity which came to the rescue and saved the lives of their twin daughters earlier this year.

Ben and Natalia Taylor would have been facing a very different Christmas had it not been for the heroic efforts of the RNLI.

They headed to Hoylake Lifeboat Station to pay their respects to the crews of Hoylake and New Brighton, after the lives of their twin daughters Evie and Lola, 12, were dramatically saved earlier this year.

The Taylor family were holidaying on the north Kent coast when the twins were keen to try out their new inflatable unicorn.

Swept along by the wind, the girls’ inflatable rapidly started heading out to sea.

Ben swam out to what he described were just ‘two dots’ in the distance heading further out to sea.

Margate RNLI lifeboat was launched along with Ramsgate RNLI, with RNLI lifeguards also joining the search.

They picked up frantic dad Ben and thankfully discovered the girls had clung to a buoy and were safe and well after being picked up by a pleasure boat.

Ben said: "I cannot put into words the terror we experienced that day, it really put everything into perspective how precious life and family is.

"We’re already planning our Christmas this year and that really is thanks to the RNLI acting so quickly.

"It was the advice given just a couple of days before on the beach helped Lola and Evie about what to do if they got into trouble which helped to save their lives.

"I can’t bear to think what kind of Christmas this year could have been for me and my family, but thankfully and luckily we’re still here and have lots of fantastic celebrations planned.

"I’m in total admiration of all the volunteers who came to help us that day, but also for these amazing crews right on our doorstep in the north west who are prepared to sacrifice their own Christmas to help total strangers at sea.

"To think they do this voluntarily is just incomprehensible. Please donate whatever you can to support the Perfect Storm appeal and help the RNLI crew to continue saving lives."

The RNLI's Perfect Storm appeal marks 20 years since a dramatic day in the life of the RNLI crew at Hoylake and New Brighton.

In the early hours of Christmas morning 1999, both crews swapped turkey and tinsel for turbulent and confused seas with 10ft high waves.

New Brighton’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat launched at its operating limits following reports of two men in the sea. Hoylake’s Mersey class lifeboat launched to offer assistance in the north-westerly gale.

Both crews spent many hours at sea in some of the worst conditions they had experienced. New Brighton Helmsman Mike Jones was awarded the RNLI's Thanks on Vellum for this service; other awards were made to the crew, helpers and honorary secretary.

The RNLI's chief executive subsequently sent a Letter of Appreciation to former Hoylake Coxswain Geoff Ormrod and his crew in appreciation of their help and support.

Almost 20 years on from the memorable call out, RNLI crew across the north west will be on standby throughout the festivities and ready to launch in any weather at a moment’s notice should anyone need their help.

Current Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Andy Dodd said: "We don’t think anything of being on call at Christmas – it’s what we do and what we’re trained for. Christmas is just like any other day for me and our volunteer crew, if someone needs our help, it really doesn’t matter what day of the year it is.

"But we couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public. The RNLI has experienced a shortfall in funds, but we are rescuing more people than ever before.

"We are facing the Perfect Storm and are calling on people to make a donation this Christmas to ensure we can continue saving lives at sea."

The RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal has been launched in response to some major challenges the charity is facing. In 2018, the RNLI’s financial resources dropped by £28.6m, while its crews are busier than ever.

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit

Last year, RNLI volunteers from Silloth to West Kirby experienced their busiest Christmas week since records began. There were eight lifeboat launches between the 11 stations from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, seven people assisted, and one life saved. This is compared with just one launch 40 years ago.