"One of the heaviest vessels we have towed"
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
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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.