Seahouses lifeboats go to assistance of 14m yacht off Holy Island

Lifeboats News Release

At 7:33pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021, UK Coastguard requested the launch of Seahouses lifeboats, to go to the assistance of a 14 metre yacht, which had been on passage from South Queensferry to Hartlepool, with three crew aboard.

Seahouses All Weather Lifeboat RNLB 13-36 John and Elizabeth Allan

RNLI/Ian Clayton

Seahouses All Weather Lifeboat RNLB 13-36 John and Elizabeth Allan
The yacht had put out a PAN-PAN distress call after its propeller became wrapped in ropes, probably from lobster pots, two miles north of Holy Island, and was disabled. Both Seahouses lifeboats were launched and made best speed to the yacht’s position.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew assessed the yacht’s situation, and were unable to dislodge the rope which included some lobster pot marker floats. It was decided that the safest option was to tow the yacht to Holy Island Haven, where it could be moored at the jetty until low tide, when the ropes could then be cut free.

On arrival at Holy Island, with a freshening wind and lack of water depth, the first attempt to bring the yacht alongside was abandoned. Other moored vessels, mooring buoys and ropes, made this a tricky job in the dark, despite the inshore lifeboat exploring a safe route to the jetty.

The yacht was then placed on a safe mooring at the Haven, while the lifeboat crew used boat hooks to try and release the ropes from the yacht’s propeller, rudder and keel. This was successful, and the yacht’s engine was started and gearbox checked for possible damage. It was established that all was well, so the yacht was left on the mooring and the lifeboats returned to station at Seahouses, arriving back at midnight.

Seahouses RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton commented: 'This was a tricky operation, working in the dark at Holy Island, with a large yacht, and I must compliment our Coxswain and his crew for his skillful handling of a difficult situation.'

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For more information please contact Ian Clayton, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager: [email protected]

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