Broken Mast Halts Yacht in Atrocious Weather
Largs lifeboat volunteers race to the assistance of a de- masted yacht.
As the lifeboat arrived on scene around one mile South of Little Cumbrae Island one lifeboat volunteer boarded the yacht firstly to ensure the two sailors had not suffered injury, secondly to attach a tow rope.
Weather conditions in the area were very bad with wind speeds recorded at force 8 ( 46mph.) periodic squalls reaching 9 were also experienced.
With the weather conditions being as they were a decision was taken to tow the stricken vessel to the Lee of Great Cumbrae Island.
Having reached calmer waters the volunteer lifeboat man on board the yacht, with the use of the lifeboats bolt cutters,freed from the deck what remained of the sails and rigging most of which were under water and fouling the rudder resulting in a loss of steering, unfortunately none of the equipment could be recovered.
Now that the rudder was free again, steering established, the engine was started and the yacht was able then to make her own way back to Largs Yacht Haven escorted all the way by the lifeboat.
After the yacht was safely berthed the lifeboat returned to station to be made ready for her next service which was not far away.
Later at 11.59 pm. on the same day,the volunteers were once again called to duty, this time it was a grounded yacht with only one person on board.
The lifeboat soon reached an area known as Brigurd Spit, notorious for boats grounding.
The lone sailor was checked out and had suffered no injuries, nor had his boat, as it was intact a tow line was secured and the vessel returned to the nearby Largs Yacht Haven.
Again the volunteers returned to station where the lifeboat was prepared for her next service and the volunteers prepared for a well earned rest.
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.