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Both Boats Tasked to Yacht Aground on Rocks

Lifeboats News Release

Dunbar’s two RNLI lifeboats launched last night following a report of a yacht aground at Tynemouth.

In fading light, the ILB lifeboat approaches the 9m yacht that was aground on rocks and listing to its starboard side.

RNLI/Douglas Wight

The ILB arrived on scene to find the yacht aground and listing on its starboard side.

After UK Coastguard paged the volunteer crew at 9.45pm, the ILB launched ten minutes later and by 10.05pm arrived on scene to find the 9m yacht on rocks known locally as Wildfire.

The experienced skipper of the Edinburgh-registered vessel had been on passage to the Holy Island, in Northumberland, but had tried to seek shelter for the night by Belhaven Bay and misjudged the severity of the hazardous location. The twin keel yacht was listing to the starboard side and, as it could not be removed safely, the decision was taken to help the skipper deploy his anchor and take him off the boat to return when the tide had risen.

Both lifeboats launched again at 6am and returned to the vessel where they found it afloat and undamaged. The skipper was able to carry on under his own power and, as he was intending to come to Dunbar Harbour, both lifeboats escorted him there to ensure all was well with the yacht.

Coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: “This incident showed that even the most experienced yachtsmen can get into difficulties and he did the right thing by calling for help as soon as he got into trouble. Unfortunately, it was too late, last night, to do anything else apart from deploy his anchor out to sea and prepare for the following tide.”

If you get into difficulty at sea or notice anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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.

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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.