A WIRRAL firefighter has been appointed Hoylake Lifeboat Station's first female deputy second coxswain.

Emily Jones takes up the role after years of service as volunteer crew and several months of intensive training, both at the RNLI College in Poole and on station.

She was approved by RNLI's divisional inspector to command the lifeboat when on services and exercises. Emily joined the crew in August 2004.

From then on, she built up her skills with the aid of the RNLI competence based training.

Lifeboat operation manager John Curry said: "We are delighted with Emily's success, which was well deserved.

"Emily is one of a handful of female coxswains in the RNLI, and she makes history as being the first female A.L.B. coxswain to qualify both at Hoylake and in the West Division.

"At times during her 'passing out', the winds touched force nine and a heavy sea was running throughout the Inspector's exercise. Emily came out of the experience with flying colours.

“Emily is dedicated and a competent crew member with whom it is an honour to serve."