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Early morning launch for RNLI Longhope Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Yacht in trouble alerts UK Coastguard for assistance

Lifeboat approaches stricken yacht in heavy swell

RNLI/Screen grab from video by volunteer Crew Member Colin Bates

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat reaches yacht needing assistance

Today, April 27 2017 at 06.22, RNLI Longhope lifeboat crew members were paged to launch by UK Coastguard. Despite the early hour the lifeboat was away within 13 minutes.

It took over an hour to reach the stricken vessel which was located about seven miles east of Orkney. Sea conditions were poor and deteriorating with a heavy swell and northerly winds gusting 28mph.

The 10 metre yacht Cloud Nine was on passage from Inverness to Kirkwall and had become disabled by partially jammed steering. She carried four crew members and unfortunately one had become unwell in the rough seas. The lifeboat established a tow and headed to the more sheltered waters off Copinsay.

After a tow of four hours the lifeboat delivered the yacht safely to Kirkwall Marina, then headed home and was back at station, refuelled and ready again for service at 15.45.

Lifeboat approaches stricken yacht in heavy swell

RNLI/RNLI/Screen grab from video by volunteer Crew Member Colin Bates

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat reaches yacht needing assistance
Safely alongside lifeboat the yacht is towed into Kirkwall harbour

RNLI/Graham Campbell

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat assists yacht into Kirkwall harbour

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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