Barrow Lifeboat called to assist crew of sinking yacht in the East Irish Sea

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched their all weather lifeboat today, Thursday 21st June 2018, to go to the aid of the crew of a trimaran which had issued a Mayday distress call.

One hull of the stricken Trimaran visible above the surface

RNLI/Jonny Long

One hull of the stricken Trimaran visible above the surface

The call for assistance came from HM Coastguard at Holyhead at 9-52am. The information received was that a 26-foot trimaran with two crew on board was sinking. The location of the stricken vessel was given as approximately 12 miles west south-west of Walney Island. The lifeboat crew was paged and the all weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 10-03am under the command of Coxswain, Shaun Charnley, assisted by a crew of six. A further four volunteer crew members responded to the call-out.

The distress call from the trimaran had also alerted other vessels in the area with up to seven vessels standing by at one stage. The lifeboat proceeded to the scene and the Coastguard Helicopter, Rescue 936, was also tasked to attend. In the meantime, a guard vessel working at the offshore windfarms off Walney Island, the ‘Fairline Surveyor’, was able to get close enough to the sinking vessel and retrieve the two crew of the trimaran from the water. The casualties were then assessed on board the ‘Fairline Surveyor’ and both were uninjured. They were then airlifted from the vessel to Walney Airfield by Rescue 936 which was deemed to be safer than attempting to transfer the casualties to the lifeboat in the difficult sea conditions.

Furness Coastguard was called to attend at Walney Airfield where they collected the two casualties and took them to the Lifeboat Station. The crew of the lifeboat were then able to reunite the casualties with some of their possessions that had been passed to them from the ‘Fairline Surveyor’.

The ‘Grace Dixon’ returned to the lifeboat station at 12-25pm where it was made ready for the next launch.

The wind at the time of the incident was north-westerly, Force 6-7.


Barrow Lifeboat, 'Grace Dixon'

RNLI/Chris Clouter

Barrow Lifeboat, 'Grace Dixon'

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.