Angle lifeboat alerted twice in two days to help yachts

Angle RNLI’s all weather lifeboat crew sprang into action in the early hours of the morning when a 13-metre yacht fouled its propeller two miles south-west of Skomer Island.

The Tamar class lifeboat Mark Mason was launched at 1.29am on Thursday 17 August, at the request of the UK Coastguard, after a ‘pan pan’ broadcast from the yacht, which was on passage from Milford Haven to Ireland with five people on board.

The boat propeller had become fouled on a pot buoy, anchoring her to the seabed, and the crew were unable to free the vessel.

The lifeboat arrived on the scene at 2.05am to find the yacht lying stern to the weather and tide with the pot buoy being visible as the yacht was pitching and rolling due to the sea conditions.

After several attempts to secure a grapnel to the buoy line, the line parted and the yacht was now drifting with the propeller still fouled. The skipper of the yacht decided to raise the sails in an attempt to return to port. However, it was soon evident that the fouled propeller was also obstructing the steering.

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Once the yacht’s sails were lowered, a tow was rigged by the lifeboat and the vessel was taken to the Mackerel Stage at Milford, where she was berthed alongside. With no further assistance required, the lifeboat returned to her station to be rehoused at 6.15am, after nearly five hours at sea.

Angle RNLI’s all weather lifeboat assist yacht aground near Burton on the Milford Haven Waterway. Credit: Angle RNLI

Yacht aground near Burton on the Milford Haven Waterway. Credit: Angle RNLI

The following day, 18 August, the all weather lifeboat launched to the report of a yacht, with three people on board, in difficulty off Rudders Boatyard, Burton, on the Milford Haven Waterway.

The lifeboat was launched at 6.18pm and as she was approaching Pembroke Dock, information was received that a small vessel had taken two of the crew off the yacht, which was now aground with one person remaining on board.

The lifeboat arrived on the scene to find the yacht hard aground in shallow water, so the Y Boat was launched to assess the situation. It was decided to deploy the yacht’s anchor to aid the recovery at the next high water, and to evacuate the occupant to the lifeboat.

The occupant was taken to the pontoon at Rudders Boatyard, where Coastguard Rescue Officers were waiting. The Y Boat was recovered and the lifeboat returned to her station, where she was rehoused at 7.50pm.