RNLI Moelfre Volunteers Battle the Storm to Save Yacht in Difficulties.
Moelfre all-weather lifeboat and volunteer crew launch in gale force winds to rescue a stricken yacht, 20 miles north of Moelfre. (Tues 4th Aug)
The request to launch came from Holyhead coastguard after they received a Mayday call from a 13 metre yacht. The yacht (on passage from Stranraer to Port Dinorwic) suffered engine failure and was struggling to make headway, with the adverse weather conditions.
The RNLI all-weather lifeboat Kiwi was on the water within 15 minutes and made best speed in the challenging sea conditions, with wind speeds gusting over 57 knots (Force 11).
A passing 150 metre merchant container vessel offered to provide shelter to the disabled yacht, but due to the erratic drift of the vessel and awful sea conditions, it had to withdraw as there were concerns that both vessels would collide.
Once on scene, approximately 50 minutes after launch, the lifeboat was manoeuvred so a tow could be passed to the crew of the disabled and drifting vessel. The tow was eventually secured and the RNLI lifeboat ensured the crew were safe.
They then commenced the slow, arduous task of towing the casualty vessel 20 miles south, towards our boathouse in Moelfre. In what can only be described as horrendous sea conditions, the lifeboat could only tow at speeds of between 2-3 knots. This was not only for crew safety, but also to prevent damage to the towline, or to either vessel.
After several hours at sea, the lifeboat arrived back at Moelfre, where the vessel was secured to the RNLI emergency lifeboat mooring. After over 9 hours at sea, battling the challenging conditions, the all-weather lifeboat rehoused and made ready for her next call to service
The lifeboat station would like to thank the skipper of the yacht for his professionalism throughout. They would also like to extend thanks to the partners and family of the volunteer crew and shore crew, who anxiously waited for their loved ones to safely return.
For further information, please contact Phil Williams, Moelfre Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07773 979910
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.