Donate now

Double Saturday Call For Holyhead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Holyhead’s volunteer lifeboat crew were called out twice yesterday (Saturday June 15th) to vessels in trouble in the Irish Sea.

The first ‘shout’ came just before 10am, to a 38ft yacht with two people on board, who had sent a distress call after they suffered complete mechanical and electrical failure. They gave their position as seven miles north of the Skerries lighthouse.

After a very fast turnout from the volunteers, the all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce was launched, and headed to the general area to search for the stricken boat.

The sailors’ location was not precise, so lookouts were posted aboard the lifeboat. It was eagle-eyed navigator Nicky Price who spotted the yacht on the horizon.

On reaching the craft at 11.30am, the crew established a tow, and headed back to Holyhead, in what coxswain Tony Price described as ‘confused seas’ as there was a wind against the tide, but both the lifeboat and casualty craft returned safely to a casualty mooring at 1.45pm, where mechanical assistance was then sought.

The two-person crew were very grateful to the lifeboat crew and to all those others who were on hand, including Cemaes coastguard volunteers and the UK Coastguard who co-ordinated the rescue.

The second call came just before 8pm, with coastguards citing a 10-metre vessel suffering mechanical failure. The craft , with two Faroese sailors on board, was en route from Weymouth to the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic ocean. She had lost power near the end of the Holyhead breakwater, but due to the weather conditions, had drifted across Holyhead Bay.

Initially, the D-class inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper was paged, and headed immediately to the stricken craft to establish a tow, and prevent her from running into danger in the Church Bay area. One volunteer crew member was placed aboard the craft to offer the sailors advice and assist with the tow preparation.

The weight of the casualty craft, at 10 tons, was at the limits for the ILB’s towing capabilities in the blustery weather conditions, and so the all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce was paged at 8.20pm. The inshore lifeboat was able to keep the stricken boat safe from further danger until the ALB’s arrival at the scene.

The tow was quickly transferred to the larger lifeboat, and all vessels then made their way back to the Holyhead Sailing Club area, where the casualty craft was placed safely on a mooring.

Coxswain Tony Price praised the dedication of the lifeboat crew for attending so quickly for both rescues.

‘There is such dedication among the volunteers. On the first call, there was such fantastic attendance so quickly on a Saturday morning, and the successful rescue was made in some challenging seas. The second call in the evening was a great example of teamwork, and a bit of forethought before things deteriorated. Both lifeboats were able to get out onto the water, and it was great to see both boats working so well together in their different roles.’

For further information, please contact Vicki Owens, Holyhead Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07531 681409, or [email protected]

Michael Thomas

Holyhead's all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce towing the stricken craft on Saturday morning

RNLI/Russ Clarke

Holyhead's volunteer crew establishing the tow on Saturday morning

RNLI/Russ Clarke

View from the ALB helm seat on Saturday morning's rescue

RNLI/Russ Clarke

Eagle-eyes navigator Nicky Price spots the stricken yacht on Saturday morning.

RNLI/Russ Clarke

The yacht is towed safely back to Holyhead after suffering complete electrical and mechanical failure

Michael Thomas

The lifeboat and yacht head back to the safety of Holyhead harbour on Saturday morning

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 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 by email.