Q1 Buoy Jan 2006 on Freshfield sands

The Q1 bouy makes the entrance to the Mersey channel and in November 2005 the bouy broke her moorings and was blown onto the Formby beach at a high tide.
It then lay on the beach within 100 feet of the sandhills until it was recovered in late January 2006.
This view from the top of the sandhills shows the bouy near to the Formby sandhills.
On January 31st the floating crane Mamoth and the Mersey and a Harbour board tug took advantage of the high tide to attempt the recovery of the Q1 Bouy. The alternative was to cut the bouy up where it landed and remove it in sections from the beach. As a preperation for the recovery a digger constructed a lagoon around the bouy deepening the beach around it, to allow the bouy to float free.
Once the high water point was reached and the sands showed no signes of releasing the bouy, the digger, which by then was perched on a sandbank it had created, used it's arm to nudge bouy, releasing it from the sand and allowing it to float free.
The bouy which had previously had a line attached to it was towed off the beach by the tug, then lifted on board the floating crane and returned to Liverpool.

Thanks to Mel Rigby for the use of the bouy recovery photos.