St Bees RNLI volunteers in early morning yacht rescue.

Lifeboats News Release

At 3:45am on Monday 3 July the volunteer crew at St Bees RNLI were requested to go to the assistance of a 10.5m yacht. The yacht was reported to be in difficulty about three miles from Whitehaven Harbour.

St Bees volunteers returning to station after successfully tow a sailing boat into Whitehaven Harbour

RNLI/Colin Wadey

Returning to station

The sailing boat with one person on board was returning to Whitehaven after a three-week trip around the West Coast of Scotland. Whilst waiting in Saltom Bay for the tide to provide enough water to get into the harbour the yacht suffered engine failure. It was clear to the solo yachtsman that the engine could not be restarted so he called for assistance.

The RNLI volunteer crew from St Bees lifeboat Joy Morris MBE arrived at the stricken yacht soon after being paged by UK Coastguard. As there was only one person onboard the yacht it was decided to place two of the lifeboat crew onboard to help the now tired sailor. The RNLI volunteers soon took the yacht in tow and made their way into Whitehaven Harbour were members of Whitehaven HM Coastguard met them.

Dick Beddows St Bees RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'This was an experienced skipper who carried out the correct procedures throughout the rescue this helped the RNLI volunteers on the lifeboat to bring the yacht safely into the harbour.

'I would also like to thank Whitehaven Harbour for their assistance as well as the local fishing boat for their co-operation when entering the harbour.'

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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.

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