Broken Mast Halts Yacht in Atrocious Weather

Lifeboats News Release

Largs lifeboat volunteers race to the assistance of a de- masted yacht.

Lifeboat leaving the shed at night

RNLI/Ranger Oric

Largs lifeboat leaving the shed for a late night shout
On Saturday morning 31/08/19 at 11.43 am. Largs lifeboat volunteers received a request from UK Coastguard to attend a Yacht with two persons on board, which, during a local two handed race round the Isle of Arran suffered from a broken mast causing the sails and the rigging to land in the water and the yacht to end it's passage.
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.

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