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Busy Christmas for RNLI’s Yarmouth Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

With three shouts over three days, the volunteer crew of the Yarmouth all-weather lifeboat spent over 19 hours out on the water during the Christmas period.

The crew's pagers first went off at 8:21pm on Boxing Day when they were tasked by the UK Coastguard with relieving the RNLI's Bembridge All-weather Lifeboat from her day watch over the Russian cargo ship Mechanik Yartsev and her crew of 13. The 279 foot vessel was anchored off Lee-on-Solent and heavily listing, most likely due to her cargo having shifted in rough seas.

Yarmouth's Severn Class lifeboat stood by all night in stormy conditions and was then herself relieved by Bembridge's Tamar Class lifeboat in the morning, returning to station in Yarmouth harbour by 7:35am.

The second shout came at 8:41am yesterday (Thursday 28th December) when the Yarmouth lifeboat was requested to launch in order to accompany the still listing Mechanik Yartsev into Southampton harbour whilst there was a break in the weather.

When returning to station from Southampton, having completed the escort successfully, the Yarmouth lifeboat was contacted a third time by the UK Coastguard at approximately 2:45pm and asked to go to the immediate assistance of a motorboat, which was experiencing mechanical failure.

The powerless motorboat, a 17ft Bayliner with two people on board, was located 2.5 miles south east of the Needles. Whilst the lifeboat raced to the scene, assistance was offered to the stricken vessel by Mr Gareth Davies who was already close by in his motor launch Bear. Mr Davies then stood by until the lifeboat arrived and a tow was established. The Bayliner was towed back to Yarmouth and the lifeboat was back at station by approximately 4:30pm

RNLI media contacts

Claire Hallett, Yarmouth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer 07814 900398,

Richard Heming, Yarmouth RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer 07810 371233

Paul Dunt, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207416 / 07866 668825 /

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

The listing Russian cargo vessel during the Yarmouth lifeboat's night watch.

RNLI/Alex Pimm

The listing Russian cargo vessel during the Yarmouth lifeboat's night watch.
The listing Russian cargo vessel during the Yarmouth lifeboat's night watch.

RNLI/Alex Pimm

The listing Russian cargo vessel during the Yarmouth lifeboat's night watch.
Yarmouth lifeboat ready to escort 'Mekhanik Yartsev' to Southampton

RNLI/Alex Pimm

Yarmouth lifeboat ready to escort 'Mekhanik Yartsev' to Southampton

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