Easter Monday Mayday call near Margate

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.