Lytham St Annes RNLI come to aid of yacht with four people and two dogs onboard
Lytham St Annes RNLI came to the aid of a yacht with four people and two dogs onboard after the vessel became stranded in the Ribble Estuary unable to refloat as tide ebbed.
After a large number of RNLI lifeboat launches in recent weeks to search for missing children thought to be lost in the sea and visitors cut off by the flooding tide on the town’s beaches, the Lytham St Annes RNLI inshore lifeboat MOAM was called out on Saturday (8 August) to assist a sailing yacht which had run aground on the south side of the river and was unable to refloat as the tide ebbed away.
The yacht had left Lytham Dock for a day sailing in the estuary with four people and two dogs on board but had unfortunately run aground and was unable to be re-floated at that time. Cut off from the Lytham side of the river and safety by the main channel of the Ribble, the yacht's crew had no option but to sit it out until the next high water.
The Coastguard (Holyhead MRSC) requested assistance for the sailing vessel, the main concern being for one of the crew, a young girl who would have had to endure 12 hours waiting for the next high tide to refloat the yacht in the early hours of the following day. Following preparations for social distancing, the sea charity’s inshore lifeboat was launched at Church Scar on Seafield Road with Helm Vinny Pedley in charge and Will Bridge and Nigel Browning forming the volunteer crew.
Heading up river to where the yacht was stranded, the lifeboat quickly arrived on scene. After checking the two crew of the yacht who wished to remain aboard were safe and the yacht herself was ready and prepared for the eventual arrival of the flooding tide, the lifeboat took aboard a lady and the girl with the two dogs and brought them back to the safety of the north side of the river and to the RNLI station on Central Beach. The dogs, Brodie and Bell, with a lead borrowed from one of the lifeboat crew members, seemed pleased enough to be off for a walk along the promenade after their sailing experience.
The yacht was successfully re-floated by her two remaining crew members at high water on the following day and returned to her berth at Lytham Dock.
Pete Whalley, Lytham St Annes RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'It was a well executed call out, quickly and efficiently carried out while still maintaining social distancing as much as possible in a 5 metre (16 feet) long inshore lifeboat. We would like to wish the yacht's crew and their dogs well.'
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.