Swanage lifeboat launches to assist solo sailor

Lifeboats News Release

The relief all-weather lifeboat at Swanage was called into action on Friday afternoon when the sole crew of a 55’ ketch explained to the UK coastguard that he had been at sea for 75 days, having crossed the Atlantic, had engine failure and had limited battery power left.

HM Coastguard had received a call from the lone yachtsman and were concerned as communications were intermittent, so the Swanage lifeboat launched and made for the yacht’s last known position given as 13nm south of Anvil Point.

The lifeboat found the yacht using radar and was alongside 40 minutes later in an increasing westerly wind and a moderate sea. Two volunteer lifeboat crew were put on board the boat to assess the situation and chat with the skipper to assess the situation. The skipper explained that his yacht had suffered some damage during the crossing and that the engine was irreparable at sea. Although he has supplies from him and his dog for another few days it was decided to tow the vessel back to Swanage where her skipper could get a good rest and replenish some of the boat’s supplies and repair some damage before continuing its passage to the final port of call. The slow tow was completed when the boat was secured to the lifeboat mooring and the lifeboat was recovered to the boathouse almost five hours after launching.
Heaving line thrown to casualty vessel to pass tow line from lifeboat.

RNLI/Lifeboat 13-26

Heaving line thrown to casualty vessel to pass tow line

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.