The RNLI has warned sailors to check weather conditions before leaving port after the loss of a yacht that grounded on rocks near Newburn Bridge, Hartlepool, amidst a busy weekend of lifeboat crew callouts.

A 33ft (10m) yacht with five people on board sparked a call out when it ran aground on rocks near Newburn Bridge, Hartlepool, following engine failure.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers were paged by Humber Coastguard at 5.20pm on Saturday 11 May.

Both the inshore lifeboat Solihull and all-weather lifeboat Betty Huntbatch launched at 1738 and were on scene within a few minutes.

In the meantime, the five people aboard had been able to make their own way to the shoreline where the local Coastguard team and paramedics dealt with them.

Hartlepool RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Matt Blanchard said: “With the occupants of the yacht safely ashore and the yacht partially submerged and not recoverable, the lifeboats returned to the Ferry Road lifeboat station. Always check the weather forecast and sea conditions before you set off and be prepared to change your plans or cancel the trip if the forecast is unfavourable.”

Sea conditions were described as rough with a force 6 easterly-south easterly wind. An RNLI spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the vessel was unrecoverable.”

A Maritime & Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard coordinated the response to a vessel running aground in Hartlepool on 11 May. Alerted at around 5.15pm, the Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI lifeboats from Hartlepool were sent to the scene. The five people onboard were recovered to shore and checked over by the ambulance service. Counter Pollution and the Local Authority have been informed.

“As of this morning, it appears that the vessel is still awaiting recovery.”

Busy weekend of callouts

RNLI crew attending a 30ft yacht aground in the Wareham channel

Poole RNLI crew throwing supplied to a grounded a yacht. Credit: RNLI/Poole

On the South Coast, Poole RNLI’s D class lifeboat launched at 1200, to reports of a 9 metre (30ft) yacht aground, listing in the Wareham channel on Friday, 10 May.

Whilst on route information came through that the vessel had freed itself, and fortunately for the crew as the tide was just at its highest and  it would have been a long wait for them if not. The lifeboat crew found the vessel transiting down the channel and conducted a welfare check to make sure they were all good and the boat was ok, which they were and able to carry on with their passage to Portland.

The lifeboat returned to station washed down, refuelled and was ready for service by 1300.

Biscuit supplies

The D class was further tasked by the Coastguard on Friday at 1730 to conduct a welfare check to a 6 metre (19ft) fishing vessel with two people onboard that was aground at entry of River Frome.

The vessel was stuck firmly on the mud, the occupants were happy to wait for the high tide which was expected at 2330.

The lifeboat arrived on scene and checked that they were okay, conditions were sunny with a slight south-easterly breeze.

The crew packed a dry bag with provisions such as water, chocolate bars biscuits and sun cream and hauled it across with the throw line as the mud was very deep and gloopy for the crew to pass through.

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Using the heaving line the anchor was passed back and the crew set the anchor in deep water so that when the tide came back they would be able to pull themselves back into deeper water and refloat. The lifeboat asked the casualty to keep in touch with the coastguard and to let them know when they were safely ashore.

As all was well, the lifeboat crew returned to station , where other crew had stayed to help with the wash down, the mud in Poole harbour is very clingy and sticky, it takes some shifting.

Shetland grounding

Lerwick Lifeboat crew assisting grounded boat taking on water

Lerwick Lifeboat crew were able to pass a salvage pump aboard the vessel to help reduce the water level below deck. Credit:RNLI Lerwick

In the northern isles, Lerwick lifeboat launched at 5.15pm on Saturday to go to the aid of a seven-metre (23ft) vessel taking on water near Sumburgh Head.

The local vessel, with two crew on board, had contacted the UK Coastguard to report that they were taking on water and were in need of assistance. Lerwick Lifeboat launched and in calm sea conditions averaged around 25 knots to reach the vessel just after 1800.

The vessel had taken on water but still had engine power and the skipper was able to make her way unaided to the Pool of Virkie. Lifeboat crew were able to pass a salvage pump aboard to help reduce the volume of water below deck. Once the water level had fallen, it became clear that a hose clip from a pump had failed, leading to the rising water level.

The vessel had run aground at low tide on sand near Ness Boating Club and was expected to refloat on the next high tide.

Coastguard rescue teams and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also attended.

Stephen Manson, Coxswain said: “Despite the calm sea conditions, this could have been a different outcome with the vessel taking on water in open seas near Sumburgh Head. We’re glad that the vessel was able to make her way to the relative safety of the Pool of Virkie and that the two crew on board are unharmed.

“We were able to assist with a salvage pump and the skipper did the right thing by calling the Coastguard as soon as they realised they needed assistance.”