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Gorleston’s all-weather lifeboat at sea for eleven hours after Mayday call

Lifeboats News Release

The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston all-weather (ALB) lifeboat Samarbeta was launched at 5pm yesterday (Wednesday 2 August) to a nine metre yacht ‘Nautilus’ with two people onboard, which had suffered engine failure while tackling severe weather conditions on its voyage from the Netherlands to the UK.

The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston all-weather lifeboat 'Samarbeta'

RNLI/Paul Dunt

The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston all-weather lifeboat 'Samarbeta'

With 30 knot winds, a following sea, a wave height of 3.5-4m and force 8 winds, it was heavy going to reach the yacht’s position 25 nautical miles north east of Cromer.

On the way to the scene further reports came in that a commercial vessel, the Arco Breeze, had a visual on the yacht and it was later understood that another vessel, the Putford Voyager, an offshore tug and supply ship, had diverted to the Mayday call and was close to the struggling Nautilus.

Once it reached the scene the Putford Voyager launched its rigid inflatable boat to go alongside the yacht and make it safe. There were no injuries to the two sailors apart from them being very fatigued. A tow was then established from the Voyager to the yacht and it proceeded in a southerly direction to meet the lifeboat.

Once the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat was on the scene it took control of operations and took over the tow of the distressed yacht, from the Putford Voyager.

The Putford Voyager then gave space to the lifeboat and yacht but stood by until Humber Coastguard told the crew of the Voyager they could continue on their voyage to the Leman Gas Field.

The lifeboat proceeded with the yacht in tow, and battling heavy winds and sea conditions, to Great Yarmouth.

Once the lifeboat arrived the local coastguard team from Gorleston were on the scene to liaise with the yacht which was being sailed by a father and son from Germany, check on their welfare, assess the yacht for damage and assist the lifeboat to safely moor up.

"The weather was the worst weather I've ever seen," said RNLI crew member Kim Platford. "The waves were really high and angry. It was nasty".

In total it turned out to be an eleven hour operation, with the volunteer crew of the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat not returning to station until almost 3am on Thursday 3 August.

Ends

RNLI media contacts

  • Kimberley Platford, RNLI Gorleston & Great Yarmouth Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    TEL 07907360588, EMAIL rnligorlestonpo@outlook.com
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI: The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 140 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives.

Visit the RNLI's official YouTube channel for more films and follow our rescue stories on Twitter.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland.


Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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