Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI rescue sailing vessel

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 18 June 2021 at 6.29 pm the UK Coastguard requested the volunteer crew to launch the Charles and Beeby all-weather lifeboat to go to a sailing vessel, in order to assess the situation, approximately one mile north of Berwick lighthouse.

The all-weather lifeboat towing vessel with inshore lifeboat

RNLI/Kevin Knox

Rescue of sailing vessel

On arrival at the scene Deputy Second Coxswain Kevin Knox assessed the situation and it was determined that the Vi and Charles inshore lifeboat was also required to give assistance.

The vessel was caught on lobster pot ropes around its rudder and its skipper was unable to free it.

A casualty care trained crew member (also a trainee paramedic) was placed aboard the yacht to monitor a person on board who was suffering from the effects of seasickness.

Both lifeboats worked together to try and free the vessel completely of the lobster pots but to no avail.

Due to also steering problems and the danger of the vessel being blown onto rocks, the Coxswain reassessed the situation and made the decision undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualties.

The towed vessel was returned to the nearest safe and suitable place which was at the Berwick Dock.

Both lifeboats returned to station, to be washed down and made ready for service, just as the well anticipated Euro football match was coming to an end.

Deputy Second Coxswain Kevin Knox said: 'Both lifeboats worked well to free the entangled vessel and it was the first shout where the new tow rope and procedures could be used after our recent training schedule.'

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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 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.

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