Shallow water meant the lifeboat couldn't get close, so a crew member swam to the yacht with a towline

A skipper whose yacht became grounded off Clevedon beach in strong winds and rough seas has praised his rescuers.

The Portishead and

Bristol volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked to assist the stricken boat, which had grounded while at anchor in North Somerset on Sunday.

Lifeboat crew

member Andrew Weston had to swim to the yacht, as the water was less than a metre deep and the lifeboat could not get close enough to throw a line.

As the wind was blowing directly on

to the shore with a rising tide, it soon became clear that yacht was in danger of being turned on to its side.


Volunteer crewman Andrew said: ‘When we arrived on scene it became immediately

apparent this was going to be challenging, the yacht was aground and at times

heeling over as surf continued to pound the vessel.

‘On occasions it even looked

as though the vessel may turn fully beam onto the waves, so urgent decisions

were needed to be made.

‘As I approach the vessel I was acutely aware of the

potential dangers with the yacht thrashing around in front of me. From a safe

distance, I threw the line to the casualty who was in the companion area to

ensure this could be secured.’


The yacht skipper said: ‘The lifeboat crew were absolutely

brilliant in particular the crewmember who came to my boat, especially

brilliant!

‘I was worried the boat was going to turn over with me underneath it.’


Once the lines were attached to the yacht, Helm Ian Lazenby and crew member

Dave Hurst, managed to pull the cruiser from the beach.

Andrew then

boarded the boat in ‘very lumpy conditions’ and made his way the bow of the yacht

to secure a ripped head sail.  

An RNLI spokesman said the yacht was towed to Portishead Marina and handed over to

the Portishead Coastguards.

Pictures: The yacht rescue; towed back to the marina. Credit: Portishead Lifeboat