Sailors rescued by Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat crew as their dinghy capsizes

Lifeboats News Release

Two ex-professional sailors were rescued by the crew of Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat today when their dinghy capsized in strong winds 500m south of the town’s harbour.

Sam Brearey, 30, from Canterbury, and Christian Birrell, also 30, from London, were training for a national sailing championships event next weekend when the forestay – a rope supporting the mast – broke and their vessel capsized throwing them both overboard.

Both men were in the water when the lifeboat crew arrived. The 14 foot Merlin Rocket sailing boat with the two men aboard was then towed by the lifeboat to the safety of Lyme Regis harbour.

Sam Brearey said:’ Despite all the experience we have both gained, if the forestay goes you have a major problem.

‘We were very pleased to see the lifeboat crew, who were brilliant at working together to recover us and the boat. There was simply nothing we could do after the forestay broke.’

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch by coastguards at 2.27pm and returned to Lyme Regis harbour at 4pm.

Capsized boat as crew arrive on scene

RNLI/Seb Cope

Capsized boat as crew arrive on scene
Volunteer crew with the rescued sailors

RNLI/Seb Cope

Volunteer crew with the rescued sailors

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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.

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