Portaferry RNLI rescues two sailors after 36ft yacht gets into difficulty
Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two sailors whose 36ft yacht got into difficulty on Strangford Lough this morning (Tuesday 25 August).
The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 9.55am following a report from Belfast Coastguard that a 36ft yacht with two people onboard was dragging its anchor and drifting towards the shore.
The lifeboat helmed by Fergal Glynn and with crew members Ian Sands, Josh Boyd, and Rosalind Watret onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene.
Weather conditions at the time were poor with heavy rain, a south easterly Force 7 wind and a choppy sea. Visibility was fair.
Due to the weather conditions, a decision was made to also request the all-weather lifeboat from Donaghadee RNLI. A local vessel also offered its assistance.
Once on scene, Portaferry RNLI assessed the situation and observed that the yacht was drifting close to shore off Taggart Island. The man and woman onboard were safe and well. A lifeboat crew member was transferred to the yacht where they took a line to the vessel to take the weight off the anchor. Once this was completed the inshore lifeboat proceeded to tow the yacht back to Killyleagh. Donaghadee RNLI was subsequently stood down.
Speaking following the call out, Philip Johnston, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Weather conditions at sea were not good this morning and the crew onboard the yacht did the right thing calling for help when they knew they were in difficulty and we would like to wish them a safe onward journey.
‘Ahead of sailing, we would remind people to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always have a means of calling for help or signalling and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone on the shore knows where you are going and when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’
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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.