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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 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.

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