RNLI volunteers towed the yacht to safety in 'challenging conditions'

A yacht with four people on board called for coastguard help when they suffered engine and steering failure near the Isle of Wight.

RNLI lifeboats were launched in rough conditions just
before 8am, Saturday May 11 to attend the 42ft yacht, which was on passage from Gosport to Plymouth but unable to sail without steering.

The yacht had radioed the coastguard for assistance, as all the crew
were feeling unwell, they reported their position to be four
miles out of Poole Harbour but the lifeboats found them to be four miles west of the Needles off the Isle of Wight.

The Poole inshore lifeboat was first on scene and transferred two
volunteer crew onto the yacht to assess the situation, the Poole
all-weather lifeboat arrived some 15 minutes later and
transferred a third crew member across onto the yacht.

The other crew on board the vessel set to, trying to recover the
anchor and rig up emergency steering the conditions were moderate to
rough with winds south westerly five to six.

Despite the lifeboat crew’s best efforts the anchor could not be
recovered at that time, with the sea conditions and risks involved, a
decision was made to fender the anchor off and let it all go, to look
after the yacht and people on-board.

A towline was connected and the all-weather lifeboat took the vessel
under tow, by the now the tide was flooding and it would have been a
nine-mile steady plod in rough conditions back to Poole. Portland
Coastguard requested that Yarmouth all-weather lifeboat launch to come
and take the vessel back to Yarmouth.

The Yarmouth lifeboat arrived on scene and the volunteer crew
successfully recovered the anchor, meanwhile the Poole inshore lifeboat
transferred one of the people off the yacht who was suffering with sea
sickness, across onto the Yarmouth lifeboat where they were made
comfortable, then a Yarmouth crewman was put on-board the yacht and the
Poole crew reassigned back to the Poole lifeboats.

The Yarmouth lifeboat then took over the tow and proceeded to take
the yacht back into Yarmouth, both Poole lifeboats headed home when all
was safe and job done.

Volunteer deputy Coxswain Glen Mallen said: ‘Conditions out there
were definitely challenging, mindful of the individuals on-board and the
worsening conditions, we decided to cut the anchor and get immediately
under tow, back to safety.’

(Picture: Poole lifeboat crew launched to assist 42ft yacht. Credit: RNLI/ Poole RNLI)