Ilfracombe RNLI launch to assist yacht near Morthoe

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat was tasked on 4 April 2021 at 4.31 a.m. by the Coastguard to assist a yacht with a ruptured fuel line, six miles north west of Bull Point, near Morthoe.

26 foot yacht making way with lifeboat escorting

RNLI/Matt Parr

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat escorting yacht

The RNLI volunteer crew were woken by the pagers going off at 4.31 a.m. and a few minutes later assembled at the station. The RNLI Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation was quickly launched at almost low tide, and made good speed in calm conditions with little wind out towards Bull Point.

The 26 foot Sadler yacht was found 20 minutes later five miles from Bull Point and the RNLI Volunteer Coxswain, Carl Perrin, made contact with the two crew. The yacht was on passage under engine due to light winds from Teignmouth to Porthcawl, when the two crew discovered a rupture in the fuel line. The crew then called the Coastguard as they were concerned that they would not have enough fuel to reach port. The crew had made repairs as best they could and diverted towards llfracombe as the nearest harbour when they were found by the lifeboat.

Following discussions with the yacht’s crew, the yacht continued towards Ilfracombe escorted by the lifeboat. Once the vessel reached the harbour with very little fuel left, the crew were instructed to turn the engine off and the lifeboat then towed the yacht alongside to a safe mooring within the harbour. Once the yacht was secure the lifeboat returned to the station at 6.30 a.m. to be recovered and made ready for the next service.

Carl Perrin, volunteer RNLI Coxswain for Ilfracombe’s RNLI Lifeboat, says: ‘the yacht’s crew did the right thing and called the Coastguard early once they knew they had a problem and might not have had enough fuel to reach port. This was only the second shout for the RNLI lifeboat crew since December, and they responded very quickly and professionally despite having very little on the water training since lockdown.’

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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