Yarmouth RNLI respond to May Day from single handed sailor

Lifeboats News Release

Yarmouth’s Severn class all weather lifeboat, 'Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer),' was tasked to launch by HM Coastguard on Saturday 15 May 2021 at 9.11pm to a 42 foot yacht with engine failure. The only crew member on board was reported to be suffering from a potential injury.

Yarmouth RNLI all weather lifeboat Eric and Susan Hiscocks (Wanderer)

RNLI/Teresa Fox

Returning to harbour with the casualty vessel

Yarmouth RNLI’s volunteer crew headed west out of Yarmouth harbour where they rendezvoused with the Coastguard Rescue 175 helicopter, a paramedic was winched onto the lifeboat in preparation to treat the casualty.

Having arrived on scene, 14 miles south of the Needles, the all weather lifeboat deployed the ‘Y’ boat (a smaller inflatable boat carried on board) in order to put two crew members and the helicopter paramedic on board the sailing yacht to assess the situation. The sailor was disabled by severe seasickness, extreme cold and fatigue – he was transferred back to the lifeboat along with the paramedic. The two lifeboat crew members remained on board the sailing yacht and prepared to sail it back to Yarmouth.

Working in the dark, with 20 knots of westerly wind and moderate to rough sea conditions, the decision was taken for Yarmouth RNLI to make good speed to bring the unwell sailor to the safety of Yarmouth harbour by boat and to make a transfer of the winchman to SAR 175 in the shelter of the Solent before recovering the broken down yacht.

The lifeboat arrived back in Yarmouth just before 1.00am. The sick casualty was brought ashore and a change of volunteer lifeboat crew was made before the Severn class lifeboat made its way back to the south of the Isle of Wight to escort the stricken vessel.

As the conditions remained rough, it was safer for the boat to be sailed back rather than being taken under tow for the three and a half hour passage. On arrival at the entrance to the harbour an alongside tow was established in order to safely moor the boat.

Yarmouth lifeboat returned to her berth and was ready for service at 4.45am

The RNLI remains an independent charity that relies on voluntary contributions to fund its lifesaving work.

Media contacts:

Teresa Fox, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Yarmouth Lifeboat Station Teresa_fox@rnli.org.uk 07976 731906

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer SE and London paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email

Yarmouth RNLI all weather lifeboat Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer)

RNLI/Teresa Fox

Safely Moored in Yarmouth Harbour

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

Categories