On their first training exercise since coming out of lockdown, the crew of RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat were last night asked to assist a becalmed yacht.
The crew were on exercise last night at around 8pm when requested by UK Coastguard to assist a Norwegian-registered yacht with engine trouble. The five-person crew of the yacht had left Lerwick earlier in the day, heading for Fair Isle but ran into trouble off Sumburgh Head with engine problems. With very light winds, they had found themselves becalmed with no means of propulsion and had requested assistance.
In calm seas, Lerwick Lifeboat made good progress to reach the vessel in around 45 minutes, taking up a tow before 9pm around three nautical miles east of Sumburgh Head. Both vessels made a steady speed of around seven knots to reach Lerwick Harbour around midnight, where the yacht was safely berthed in small boat harbour.
Darren Harcus, Coxswain said: “We were on our first training exercise since March, and going through routine checks and familiarisation when we received the call to assist this yacht. In unusually light winds, the vessel had lost all means of propulsion and was at the mercy of the currents off Sumburgh Head.
"The skipper was right to contact the Coastguard when they did and our volunteer crew were more than willing to divert from our exercise, to ensure the safety of the yacht and those on board.”
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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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