Lowestoft Lifeboat called to help ‘Swallows and Amazons’ yacht
The crew from Lowestoft Lifeboat Station was called out to help an historic yacht that had got into difficulties off the Suffolk coast
The 28-foot yacht ‘Nancy Blackett’, reputed to be "Swallows and Amazons" author Arthur Ransome's favourite yacht, was on passage from Vlissingen in the Netherlands to The Orwell when the engine failed off Kessingland.
Lowestoft RNLI relief Lifeboat ‘Reg’ was launched just before 12.30pm to go to the aid of the vessel which was four and a half miles south-east of Lowestoft
Lifeboat Coxswain John Fox said: “the yacht had a crew of four on board and they told us they has spent the last few weeks sailing in Holland and were returning to Suffolk when a suspected problem with the fuel line caused the engine to fail.
The sea was quite choppy with the wind blowing a force 4-5 strength southwesterly. We connected a towline and brought the vessel to the safety of the town’s inner harbour, mooring her in the yacht basin at 2.15pm – where the crew was met by Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard Rescue Team.”
The ‘Nancy Blackett’ is now owned by the Nancy Blackett Trust who have preserved her as a living part of the Arthur Ransome heritage - allowing many Ransome fans to enjoy the experience of sailing her.
On their website the trust’s news feed said “Nancy Blackett is now in Lowestoft, having left The Netherlands early yesterday morning to avoid the worst of the forecast winds. Unfortunately the engine kept stopping and then stayed stopped, so she was towed into Lowestoft by Lifeboat. Fuel problems are suspected, most likely a fuel feed issue, and there is talk of bleeding the system. However, at least they are all safe before the worst of the gales come in.
Three years ago this month, Nancy Blackett visited Lowestoft in somewhat different conditions.”
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.