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Yacht with engine failure towed to safety by Wells RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Wells RNLI lifeboat towed in a yacht last night (30 September) after it suffered engine problems and ran aground in the harbour approaches.

The yacht, 'Summer Wind of Portsmouth', had been on a passage from Bridlington to the south coast and wished to stopover in Wells. 

The skipper, who was sailing her single handed, was navigating the approaches to Wells Harbour on the ebbing tide when the yacht suffered engine failure and he contacted the coastguard for assistance.

Wells inshire lifeboat crew was paged at 10.47pm and launched at 11pm, arriving on scene four minutes later.

The lifeboat crew found that the yacht had run hard aground and could not be re-floated until the morning tide. 

The crew then proceeded to lay the anchor out to secure the yacht, make it watertight and take the skipper ashore to the boathouse.

The lifeboat crew returned to the casualty on the next tide at 3.50am. Shortly after that the yacht was re-floated.  The crew attempted to repair the engine but found it would only idle and not take any load. It was decided to tow the yacht into Wells Harbour and moor her in the outer harbour.  No one was hurt in the incident.

In a statement from Wells Harbour, spokesman, Simon Blakeley, advised: 'Visiting vessels entering Wells Harbour should contact them either by phone or on VHF channel 12 prior to making an approach, especially during the hours of darkness. There is a free pilot service into the harbour. Contact details can be found in the nautical almanac, also online at the Wells Harbour website. We are here to help.'

RNLI media contacts

John Mitchell, Wells Lifeboat Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 01328 710882 Mob: 07831 103 166

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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