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Donaghadee RNLI rescue person on stricken yacht as darkness falls

Lifeboats News Release

Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat crew saved a stricken yacht with one person onboard after it was left helpless in poor weather off the coast of Millisle.

Donaghadee lifeboat Saxon and her crew of Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers sped to the last reported position of the vessel at top speed of 25 knots after a launch request from the Coastguard at 9.30pm on Friday night ( 15 July).

A strong south-westerly wind was blowing and rain forecast, night was falling and the lifeboat crew was forced to conduct a search before locating the yacht two miles offshore. No radio contact was possible. A towline was quickly attached and the yacht brought to Donaghadee harbour for inspection and repairs.

It was the lifeboat’s second launch of the week. On Sunday evening (10 July) Saxon lifeboat and crew put to sea in response to a man overboard alert in Ballyhalbert. A pleasure sailor fell from his boat and was unable to get back aboard. At around 6.00pm and the Coastguard asked the RNLI volunteers to make their way to the scene in the event of an emergency situation developing. However the casualty was assisted by another vessel and was able to make his way ashore uninjured. The Saxon was stood down and returned to station within the hour.

Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain Philip McNamara said, "We are always happy to launch if there is a chance we can prevent an emergency or save a life at sea. But everyone enjoying the coast this summer should respect the water and wear lifejackets when around deep water. If you are boating make sure you have a reliable means of contacting the shore and of calling for help."


Note for editor:
caption: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Saxon and crew speed to the rescue at 25 knots.

RNLI Media contacts
For information please contact Donaghadee Lifeboat Press Officer Maurice Neill on mobile 0771 8160865, email or Twitter @Ailsapress. Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 1 8900 460 or 00 353 87 1254 124 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email

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