"One of the heaviest vessels we have towed"

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI’s All Weather Lifeboat at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston was tasked at 1:20am on 10 March 2020 by UK Coastguard, to reports of a 110 tonne wind farm vessel with complete engine failure.

The Trent Class Lifeboat ‘Samarbeta’ was requested by Humber Coastguard to a wind farm vessel broken down approximately 3 miles north-east of Waxham.

Once on scene it was established the casualty vessel was at anchor but was drifting in force seven winds. The casualty vessel was asked by the all weather lifeboat to retrieve their anchor but due to the conditions retrieval was an issue, so the anchor and chain was dropped.

When the anchor and chain was released the volunteer crew onboard the All Weather Lifeboat passed a tow line, once secured they started their journey back to Great Yarmouth with the tide against them, travelling at four knots.

On arrival at Great Yarmouth port the lifeboat requested a tug due to the tidal conditions, once the tug arrived at 7am, the tow was passed, but the tug had to wait for the tide to change to safely bring the casualty vessel into the river, where the tug then took the casualty wind farm vessel up to Town Hall Quay and the lifeboat was released.

Coxswain Paddy Lee said ‘it was a struggle for us to get the tow underway due to the wind and tide alongside the sheer weight of the casualty vessel, with it being one of the heaviest vessels we have towed’.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Kimberley Platford, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer and Crew on 07907360588, rnligorlestonpo@outlook.com or Jim Rice,RNLI Regional Media Manager (North East & East) on 07810658072 or jim_rice@rnli.org.uk or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer (North East and East) on 07824518641 or clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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