Yacht's mayday call sparks Bristol Channel alert

Lifeboats News Release

A motor yacht with three people on board sparked a major rescue operation involving three RNLI lifeboats in the Bristol Channel on the afternoon of Sunday 30 July.

The crew of the 7.6m vessel put out a mayday call, reporting that its engine had failed and it was taking on water just before 2pm while enroute from Penarth to Ilfracombe.

Both of Minehead RNLI's lifeboats were launched and the volunteer crew quickly located the yacht in St Audries Bay, east of Watchet. They were joined on scene by a coastguard helicopter.

Helmsman Andrew Escott said the yacht was completely disabled. He explained: 'When they realised they had been taking in water they tried to make it into Watchet marina but going against the tide the engine overheated.'

The two Minehead lifeboats were joined by Barry Dock lifeboat, which took the yacht in tow back to Penarth.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Chris Rundle, RNLI Minehead Lifeboat Press Officer, on 01984 639026 or by emailing info@imprintpr.eu.

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, in a normal year, 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 by email.