Artie the cat dozes through yacht rescue off Scarborough

Lifeboats News Release

It has emerged that the third crew member aboard a yacht rescued by Scarborough RNLI lifeboat this week was a cat.

Artie

Row Heale

Artie

Artie, seen here in his feline lifejacket, snoozed quietly through the dramatic mission to rescue the yacht. It was snared on lobster pot-lines six miles north of town early on Monday morning (24 AUG).

'The cat was asleep in its cage but the door was open', reported Paul Huggins, the volunteer who boarded the yacht to cut one of the lines. 'It was just quite happy in its bed'.

Now Artie’s owners - or is it the other way round? - have contacted Scarborough RNLI to express their appreciation. 'We can’t thank you enough for all your help at silly o’clock in the morning', said Tim and Row Heale.

'Sorry to have got you out of bed but, hey, cheers guys, we really appreciate your help and genuine attitude to helping those in need.

'We contacted the Coastguard with our position when we found ourselves immobilised, as our radar showed large commercial vessels approaching us, albeit at a distance', Row recalls. 'We had sailed non-stop from Inverness when we found ourselves in trouble and the crews from RNLI Scarborough came to our assistance.

'We have made an online donation to the RNLI. Our meagre contribution probably wouldn’t cover your pager bill let alone the boats’ fuel bill, but from our hearts, and Artie the ship’s cat, we thank you'.

Tim and Row are members of the Army Sailing Association and the Royal Yachting Association. They keep their boat at the Hornet Services Sailing Club in Gosport, where they live.

Artie is a British short-haired smokey grey. He has a passport and all his inoculations are up to date. He’s well travelled and has been sailing since he was a 12-week-old young kitten.

Row says: 'He’s now into his second life jacket - he outgrew the first one - and he loves going ashore in the dinghy or our kayak.'

Being a cat, Artie avoids water but once got his tail wet when Tim and Row forgot to put his lead on the extended setting, when leaping onto a pontoon. 'He went donk mid-flight into the oggin, but he was hooked out to safety immediately', Row says.

'Don’t be fooled by his grumpy look, he loves being on board'.

The couple’s favourite places to sail are around Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Baltic. 'But this year, due to Covid-19 and quarantine regulations, we are sailing clockwise around the UK, anchoring as much as possible and only going ashore for water, food supplies or to wait for gales to abate.'

RNLI Media contacts
* For more details, please ring Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on: 07890 322992.

Tim Heale with Artie

Row Heale

Tim Heale with Artie
Tim and Row Heale

Row Heale

Tim and Row Heale
Artie was fast asleep while the yacht was being unsnagged

RNLI/John Huntley

Artie was fast asleep while the yacht was being unsnagged

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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.

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