Criccieth RNLI Lifeboats rescue stricken yacht
On the evening of Friday the 13th of August, 2021 volunteer Crew-members from Criccieth’s RNLI lifeboat Station were requested to launch to a 30-foot yacht with one person onboard which had run-aground on a large sandbank in the mouth of the Porthmadog Channel.
The Station had initially been contacted by HM Coastguard at around 2.30pm after the skipper had reported being stuck on the sandbank but expecting to be able to re-float later in the evening on an incoming tide. However, following further conversations between the skipper, HM Coastguard operators and the Station it was agreed that Crew-members would visit the yacht’s location at 6.30pm in their 4x4 accompanied by their smaller inshore-lifeboat-boat, Margaret a Nantw. Having accessed the location via Traeth y Graig-ddu / Black Rock Sands it became apparent that the attending Crew could walk to the yacht without the need to launch due to its location on the sandbank. Following a welfare check on the skipper and an assessment of the location it was confirmed that the Station’s larger Atlantic 85-class Lifeboat, Doris Joan, would need to launch later that evening to assist as the weather wasn’t forecast to improve and high-tide would coincide with darkness falling. A Crew-member would stay with the stricken yacht to ensure necessary preparations were made ahead of the high-tide and that clear communications were maintained.
At 8.40 pm, the Station launched their Atlantic 85-class Lifeboat and made-way, through rough seas, towards the yacht which was still hard-aground and several metres from the channel. The Lifeboat stood-by whilst the tide eventually re-floated the yacht which was now was being battered by large, breaking waves. A second Crew-member was placed aboard the vessel to assist with recovering the anchor. Once afloat, the yacht was piloted back into Porthmadog harbour by a Crew-member, escorted by the Lifeboat. Once the yacht was placed safely upon its mooring, both Crew-members disembarked.
The Lifeboat returned to Criccieth through heavy seas and by 12.45am was refuelled and ready for service.
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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.