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.