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Portaferry RNLI rescue lone sailor onboard stricken yacht

Lifeboats News Release

The pagers sounded today, Wednesday 11 April 2018, for the volunteers from Portaferry RNLI to go to the aid of a man onboard an 18-foot yacht experiencing serious problems off the County Down coast.

The man was two miles from the entrance to Strangford Lough when he started to get into difficulty.

The volunteer crew launched at 2.33pm in cloudy conditions, with good visibility and a force 4 to 5 easterly wind.
Sea conditions at the time of launch were moderate, but when the RNLI crew arrived on scene at 2.50pm they were met by very rough seas and large swells.

Having assessed the situation once they had located the casualty vessel, the Helm of the Portaferry RNLI lifeboat deemed that it would be too dangerous to attempt a tow due to the extremely challenging conditions they were experiencing.

Instead, a volunteer crew member from the Portaferry RNLI was put on board the casualty vessel to help sail it into Ardglass Harbour.

Also in attendance were a volunteer crew from Newcastle RNLI station onboard their all-weather lifeboat, standing by to offer assistance should it be required.

The Portaferry lifeboat then escorted the casualty vessel to the safety of the pontoons at Ardglass Harbour and into the hands of the Newcastle Coastguard team.

Commenting on today’s rescue, Simon Rogers, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Our volunteer crew faced challenging conditions during this rescue, encountering extremely rough sea conditions. The man onboard the casualty vessel did the right thing calling for help before things got out of hand.

'We would like to stress at this time, when more and more boats are returning to the water, that everyone planning any sea trip respect the water and take all necessary precautions.’

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Photograph: Portaferry RNLI’s ‘Bluepeter V’ Atlantic 85 class lifeboat approaches casualty yacht.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Bernard Roddy, Portaferry RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Bernard.roddy@gmail.com or telephone Nuala McAloon, RNLI Regional Media Officer Ireland on 00353876483547, email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Regional Media Manager Ireland on 00 353 87 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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Photograph: Portaferry RNLI’s ‘Bluepeter V’ Atlantic 85 class lifeboat approaches casualty yacht.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Bernard Roddy, Portaferry RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Bernard.roddy@gmail.com or telephone Nuala McAloon, RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 00353876483547, email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 00 353 87 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

RNLI/Portaferry

Portaferry RNLI approach yacht

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.

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 or by email.

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