Barmouth RNLI volunteer crew were paged by the UK Coastguard to launch both lifeboats when a 34ft yacht broke it’s moorings and ended up caught in Barmouth bridge, in Gwynedd, north-western Wales.

The inshore lifeboat was quickly launched when the call came in at 6.29pm on Monday 21 August to assess the scene and confirm if any persons were on board, followed by the all-weather lifeboat at 6.45pm.

It was quickly determined that there were no persons thought to be on board the stricken yacht.

The yacht caught under the bridge. Credit: RNLI/Jamie Tyrrell

The yacht caught under the bridge. Credit: RNLI/Jamie Tyrrell

Given that there was thought to be no persons onboard, a fast flowing incoming tide, and the fact the yacht was wedged fast into the bridge, the decision was made to stand-off until after high water at 8.55pm.

Cables from the yacht were caught up in the bridge meaning any recovery had to be taken slowly and in a manner as to not endanger the volunteer crew or the bridge itself.

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During the assessment of the most opportune moment to move the yacht, both lifeboat crews liaised with both the harbour master and Barmouth Coastguard Team who were on the bridge and able to pass on information on how the yacht was caught up in the bridge’s structure.

At 9.43pm the mast on the casualty vessel broke under the pressure of the changing tide. This released the yacht from the bridge. This meant the inshore lifeboat could guide the vessel away from further damage to a safe location.

Both lifeboats were back on station and ready for service by 11.15pm.