Easter Monday Mayday call near Margate

In a five-hour rescue operation, Margate’s RNLI lifeboat assisted a yacht that was dismasted in bad weather off the north Kent coast.

The 12m yacht with two people on board was on passage from Burnham-on-Crouch to Hamble yesterday when it lost its mast in heavy sea conditions.

The crew were around four miles off Margate to the north of the Margate Sands when they transmitted a
Mayday distress message.

Coastguards at Dover picked up the call and alerted Margate’s all-weather lifeboat. A rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham was also tasked to assist while a nearby Royal Navy patrol vessel diverted to stand-by the yacht.

The lifeboat arrived on scene and it was established that a large amount of rigging and sails, along with the mast were in the water and would have to be cleared before the yacht could be taken under tow.

A lifeboat crewman was put on board and along with the yacht’s crew was able to cut the rigging and sails free and secure the mast to the vessel.

Once the situation was stabilised, the yacht was taken under tow to the safety of Ramsgate harbour where they were met by local coastguard officers.

The yacht’s two crew were uninjured after their experience.