Port St Mary RNLI launched to save 3 yachtsmen

Lifeboats News Release

Following a VHF Call to Belfast Coastguard from a 40 foot yacht in distress in Bay Ny Carrickey, they requested the launch of both of Port St Mary RNLI's all-weather and inshore lifeboats at 5.57am this morning, Saturday 6th November.

The Trent class lifeboat Gough Ritchie II, and D-Class inshore lifeboat Spirit of Leicester, launched in a southwesterly wind force 5 gusting force 7 and rough seas. Both lifeboats headed to near the Carrick Beacon, where the casualty had its rudder and propeller fouled. The yacht had also laid an anchor to prevent further drift towards the rocks.

Having established that the 3 crew on the yacht had not received any injuries, an assessment of the situation was made by Coxswain Michael Keggen regarding the proximity to the rocks of the Carrick, and the weather which was rapidly deteriorating with a 3 meter swell building. It was therefore decided the only safe option be the inshore lifeboat coming along side to transfer the 3 crew from the yacht to the all-weather lifeboat.

The transfer of the crew of the yacht to the all-weather lifeboat was executed by the inshore lifeboat under the command of helm Richard Leigh. The successful transfer of the crew required team work for which the crews are constantly trained.

Sadly shortly after the crew were transferred the yacht broke free and subsequently hit the Carrick resulting in the loss of its keel and capsizing.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Sarah Keggen said ‘I would like to praise the crew of the yacht for raising the alarm when they did. It they had delayed the call to Belfast Coastguard the outcome could have been totally different.’

Coxswain Michael Keggen went on to say, ‘I would like to praise my volunteer crew on this call out under difficult conditions, and although the yacht could not be saved 3 lives were, the RNLI is here to save lives at sea which is what happened this morning.’

The entire Port St Mary Crew and officials extend sympathy to the crew at the loss of their yacht on their passage from Liverpool to Ardrossan who had headed to Port St Mary to shelter from the adverse weather conditions.

David Hill

Port St Mary RNLI all-weather lifeboat Gough Ritchie II and inshore lifeboat Spirit of Leicester returning from service

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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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