Clacton RNLI’s volunteers respond to Mayday call nine miles from Clacton Pier

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers of Clacton RNLI responded to a Mayday call from a sailing vessel with a broken mast near to the Barrow No.4 Buoy, nine miles south east of Clacton Pier.

Casualty sailing vessel under tow, viewed from rear of Lifeboat

RNLI/Tristen Welham

Sailing vessel under tow by Clacton RNLI

8.11am May 28, at the request of UK Coastguard the RNLI Atlantic class lifeboat, David Porter MPS, was launched on to a calm sea with four volunteers aboard. They were tasked with locating the stricken vessel and assisting it and its occupants to safety.

Once on scene, where the sea conditions had increased to slight, a crew member was placed aboard the sailing vessel to assist the occupants, a man and a woman in their 20s, in hauling the rigging and jib back aboard, after it ended up hanging in the water after the mast broke, and getting caught around the keel.

As the female sailor started to feel unwell after being sat broadside to the waves too long, they were transferred to the Lifeboat before a tow was commenced. On reaching the Wallet Spitway her condition had deteriorated to such a degree that it was decided to break off the tow so the Lifeboat could make best safe speed back to the boathouse, where she could be properly attended too. Meanwhile the crew member aboard the sailing vessel dropped anchor to await the return of the RNLI Lifeboat.

With the lady being left in the safe hands of a First Responder the Lifeboat returned to the sailing vessel to recommence the tow into Brightlingsea Harbour, where the casualty vessel was placed on the Hammer Head pontoon.

The casualty at the boathouse during this time stabilised and was deemed fit by the attending paramedic to go by road to meet up with their vessel in BrightlingseaHarbour. The David Porter MPS lifeboat was rehoused and ready for service again by 1.30pm.

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