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)