RNLI volunteers launch in Force 6 winds to a struggling yacht
On Thursday 8 June 2017 the volunteers at St Bees RNLI were requested to launch by UK Coastguard and go to the assistance of a boat with five people on board struggling in stormy conditions near Whitehaven.
The RNLI volunteers were paged by the UK Coastguard at 11:38am who had received a call for help from a 9 metre yacht about four miles off Whitehaven Harbour.
With winds gusting up to 40 mph, in strong seas and poor visibility, the yacht was finding it extremely difficult to make any progress towards the harbour. As the yacht and her crew were not in any immediate danger the decision was made to escort them back to the harbour.
It soon became apparent to the volunteers on the RNLI lifeboat that progress in the rough conditions was very slow and some of the crew on the yacht were starting to suffer the effects of seasickness. At this time it was decided the safest and quickest course of action would be to tow the yacht into the harbour.
In challenging seas, the crew from St Bees lifeboat along with the excellent co-operation from the staff at Whitehaven Harbour brought the boat successfully through the lock and into the safety of the harbour. Once inside the harbour the yacht and her crew were handed over to Whitehaven HM Coastguard.Dick Beddows St Bees RNLI Operations Manager said ‘The weather at this time of the year can be unpredictable. Before setting off it is advisable to check the forecast and tides that apply to your voyage and brief the crew in what to do if things do go wrong. Always make sure everyone on board has a lifejacket that is fit for purpose and that they wear it. It is also worth asking your local pharmacist for advice in helping to prevent seasickness which is very debilitating when it strikes’
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
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