Holyhead RNLI Assist Drifting Vessel
Both Holyhead lifeboats were called out in gusty conditions today (Saturday 8 May) after an unmanned 17-metre motor boat broke away from her mooring and was blown against the breakwater.
Pagers sounded shortly after 4pm, requesting the launch of the inshore D-class
Mary and Archie Hooper, and the volunteer crew of four headed swiftly to the scene, just a short distance away. There was concern of her breaking up and causing a hazard to other vessels, or drifting into the nearby busy shipping lane.
On reaching the stricken craft, which could be seen from the lifeboat station, the crew realised that, at over 50 tons, the vessel was too heavy to be towed by the D-class alone, and requested the assistance of the all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce, which had been recently equipped with new towing gear.
Within minutes, the Severn-class had joined the scene, and very quickly established a tow, before heading with the casualty vessel to the lifeboat mooring within the harbour.
After assisting in the rescue, the inshore lifeboat returned to the station, and once the yacht had been secured to the mooring, the all-weather lifeboat headed back to her berth at the port.
Both lifeboats were back and prepared for service by 6pm.
Coxswain Tony Price said the vessel showed no obvious signs of damage:
‘Once the boat slipped its mooring, it was lucky that there was a rising tide. It was the right thing to do to use both lifeboats, given the weight of the yacht. Thanks to the great turn out of the crew, we were able to launch both boats quickly to work together to get the casualty craft to safety.’
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.