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Lowestoft Lifeboat called to help ‘Swallows and Amazons’ yacht

Lifeboats News Release

The crew from Lowestoft Lifeboat Station was called out to help an historic yacht that had got into difficulties off the Suffolk coast

RNLI/Michael Howes

Yacht 'Nancy Blackett' is brought safely into port by Lowestoft Relief Lifeboat

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.”

RNLI/Michael Howes

Yacht 'Nancy Blackett' is brought safely into port by Lowestoft Relief Lifeboat

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.

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