Volunteers from Walton and Frinton RNLI assist yacht drifting with steering fail

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers at Walton and Frinton RNLI had their Saturday 17 July plans interrupted as the pagers sounded at 9:20am to go to the aid of a yacht needing assistance 17 miles from station.

RNLI/Dale Steggles

At the request of Dover Coastguard, the volunteer crew launched the Tamar Class all-weather lifeboat shortly after the pagers sounded to go to the aid of the yacht located 17 miles from station, close to the London Array wind farm with steering failure. The yacht with two people on board, had deployed their anchor while they awaited the arrival of the lifeboat.

Once on scene, an assessment was carried out by the Coxswain and given the position of the rudder which was stopping the ability to steer the yacht, it was deemed that a tow was the safest way to assist the casualty back to Titchmarsh Marina.

The slow tow commenced which took some six and half hours, once in the Walton backwaters the crew of the all-weather Tamar lifeboat were waved down by a broken down speed boat, which was also talking to the UK coastguard via a mobile phone at the same time.

With the yacht secured along side the marina the lifeboat and her crew proceeded to assist the broken down 15ft speed boat that had run aground. With an assessment, it was deemed that the safest approach would be to establish a short tow back to the Marina from where they had launched that day. Once the speed boat was secured alongside, the lifeboat was released and able to return to station some nine hours after launching.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please telephone Miranda Rayner, Walton and Frinton RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799691852 or Miranda_Rayner@rnli.org.uk

Or Dale Steggles, Walton and Frinton RNLI Deputy Press Officer on 07540802302 or Dale_Steggles@rnli.org.uk

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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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