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Dungeness RNLI lifeboat tasked to small yacht with sails blown out and no fuel

Lifeboats News Release

On Wednesday 5 October at 4pm the lifeboat was tasked by Dover Coastguard to assist a 21 foot yacht whose sails had blown out and had no fuel with two persons on board, one mile west south west of Dungeness.

The small yacht was on passage from Yarmouth to Plymouth in force 6 easterly winds with 2 metre swells.

Once on scene, Coxswain Stuart Adams in command of the RNLI lifeboat 13-02 ‘The Morrell’ put one volunteer crewmember aboard the casualty to assess the situation. It was decided to transfer one person from the yacht to the lifeboat and a tow was established between lifeboat and casualty to enable a safe towage to Eastbourne. On nearing Hastings, the Hastings Mersey class lifeboat with her volunteer crew was launched to rendezvoused with Dungeness and take the tow onwards to Eastbourne. The Dungeness lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and was ready for service by 8.30pm.

Coxswain Adams said ‘This vessel was not equipped for the weather conditions. Any vessel putting to sea should have the appropriate lifesaving equipment aboard and get an updated weather forecast before leaving.

RNLI media contacts

  • Judith Richardson, Dungeness RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    01797 320062 / 07859264226/  
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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