Long shout for Scarborough RNLI
Scarborough RNLI’s all-weather Shannon lifeboat was taken to the limits of its capabilities on one of the station’s longest shouts yesterday.
A yacht sailing from the German island of Heligoland to Newcastle suffered engine failure 56 miles out to sea.
The sea state was rough, with a strong northerly swell and a cold north-westerly wind blowing at force six.
The crew of three on the 14m, 25-ton, twin-masted ketch Mohican 2 issued a May Day call on its VHF radio, which has a range of about 25 miles.
The SOS was relayed to the Coastguard by rig-support vessel Vos Trader, which then went to the sailboat and stood by until the Shannon arrived at about 1pm, three hours after launching.
The lifeboat attached a tow rope and a casualty drogue, a kind of nautical parachute, to the yacht to control the distance between the two boats and avoid a collision on the long journey to shore.
The high-tech lifeboat’s speed was about 25 knots on the way out but only seven knots on the way home. The return voyage took about nine hours. However, the rescue would have taken about five hours longer using Scarborough RNLI’s previous all-weather lifeboat, a Mersey.
The yacht was positioned on the visitors’ pontoon in the harbour at about 10.30pm. After rehousing the lifeboat, its crew - two full-timers and four volunteers - and the shore crew finally got to bed at about midnight.
The rescue was one of Scarborough RNLI’s shouts in terms of distance and time.
RNLI Media contacts
For details, ring Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on 07890 322992.
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.