Lytham St Annes RNLI lifeboat rescues stricken yacht
Broken down vessel with three people on board towed into Lytham by volunteer lifeboat crew
The Coastguard requested the Lytham St Annes Mersey class all-weather Lifeboat Her Majesty the Queen launch to the aid of a 7 metre (23ft) yacht which had broken down in an east-north-easterly force 5, gusting 6 wind at lunch time today (Thursday 4th May 2017). The vessel was unable to sail into the River Ribble with the wind dead against her and the failed engine prevented her motoring in.
The lifeboat under the command of Deputy 2nd Coxswain Nick Glassbrook set off at 2.30pm to rendezvous with the casualty off Blackpool. As it was low water in the Ribble the two vessels circled and then anchored off the entrance to the estuary channel while waiting for the tide to make enough water for the casualty to be towed over the Ribble Bar and on towards Lytham. The sea conditions with wind against tide were causing an unpleasant chop but the yacht was safely towed up to Church Scar, opposite Seafield Road.
The station’s inshore lifeboat MOAM meanwhile put out into the river to take over the yacht and tow her on the last stage of the rescue up Lytham Creek to her berth at Lytham Dock. Launching at Seafield Road shortly before 6pm, the inshore lifeboat was back at her boathouse by 7.30pm having seen the three people and yacht safely into Lytham Dock.
The Her Majesty the Queen returned to her boathouse at 7.35pm after a service lasting five hours although the crew and shore crew had to then set to for an extra hour to clean and refuel the lifeboat and tractors before they could leave for their meals.
Deputy 2nd Coxswain Nick Glassbrook said, “The yacht’s crew did the right thing calling for help as with the wind in that direction, blowing straight out of the Ribble, they would not have managed to reach Lytham without an engine.”
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.