Barrow Lifeboat Assists Yacht Crew in East Irish Sea

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched their all-weather lifeboat this morning to go to the aid of a yacht, whose crew were all unwell, and which was in rough seas due west of the Duddon Estuary.

The initial request to launch the Lifeboat came from Belfast Coastguard at 10-03am this morning. The information received was that all three crew on board the 8-metre-long yacht were feeling unwell and were suffering from suspected food poisoning.  The Barrow Relief Lifeboat, Edward and Barbara Prigmore’, was launched at 10-32am under the command of Coxswain Jonny Long, with a crew of 7 on board.


The crew of the yacht, which was bound for Fleetwood, was roughly halfway between the Isle of Man and the mainland, when they issued a Mayday call for assistance. Lifeboats from both Douglas and Ramsey on the Isle of Man were called out to attend along with the Coastguard’s own Rescue 936 helicopter, based at Caernarfon Airport.

Meanwhile the Isle of Man Steam Packet’s ferry, Ben-My-Chree, which was on passage at the time also responded to the Mayday call and proceeded to the scene. The ferry was able to make a lee for the yacht giving it some shelter from the rough sea and thereby making it easier for the lifeboats to come alongside. The two Isle of Man lifeboats, one of which had a doctor on board, arrived at the yacht at approximately 11-20am.

The condition of the crew of the yacht was assessed and following this it was decided that the helicopter was not required and it was therefore stood down. The lifeboat from Ramsey took the yacht under tow heading towards the south east where it rendezvoused with the Barrow Lifeboat which then took over the tow.

Two crew members from the lifeboat transferred to the yacht and two of the casualties from the yacht went aboard the lifeboat. The tow was resumed and the yacht was brought back to the safety of the Roa Island mooring at Barrow where it was made secure at 4-30pm, some 6 hours after the Barrow boat was launched.

The sea conditions at the time were rough and the wind was westerly, force 5-6. Visibility was good and high water was at 3-04pm with a height of 8.8 metres.

With the three casualties safely ashore, the Barrow Lifeboat was returned to the Boathouse and made ready for the next launch.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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