View as PDF

Two Barmouth lifeboats launched to yacht caught in Barmouth bridge.

Lifeboats News Release

Barmouth ILB was launched at 7.15 pm on Wednesday 3rd August in response to a report from HM Coastguard of a yacht caught in Barmouth bridge.

The 25ft motor-sailer Pelican had been swept through the harbour by high winds and the incoming tide and was caught fast on the bridge near the main arch. The gusting north westerly gale force winds and tide conditions made it difficult for the ILB to get near the yacht safely, so at 7.35 pm the all-weather lifeboat was launched.  From their position on the bridge, members of HM Coastguard were able to ascertain that there was no-one on board the boat, but the vessel was beating hard against the bridge in the surging waves, its mast level with the track.  It appeared that the boat had dragged its mooring to which it was still attached making it extremely difficult to tow the vessel off.

Although the boat was unoccupied and there were no lives in danger, its position posed a danger to shipping and, in the heavy seas, there was a danger of damage being done to the bridge supports.

High water for the 4.9 metre spring tide was due at 9.41pm and both boats stood by the vessel waiting for slack water and an opportunity to approach the vessel safely. 

When the opportune moment arrived, the ILB put a man aboard the stricken vessel. In the heaving seas, crew member Russ Courtney managed to climb aboard the yacht and cut the mooring cables. He was then recovered to the ILB. 

When the tide turned, Russ again bravely boarded the boat and with extreme skill and caution, the ALB coxswain manoeuvred the lifeboat and passed a towline.  Crew member Russ Courtney was able, with considerable expertise in the rough seas, to attach the towline.

The vessel was pulled off and made safe in the harbour by 10.45 pm.  Both boats returned to the station at 11.30 pm and were ready for service again by 12.15 am. 

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland