Engine failure strikes cross-channel yacht passage

Lifeboats News Release

Swanage lifeboat volunteers were called nearly 20nm offshore overnight when a yacht on passage form the Channel Islands suffered engine failure.

Swanage lifeboat crew

RNLI/Roydon Woodford

Swanage lifeboat crew
The 38' yacht, with two persons on board, had suffered a gearbox failure earlier in the passage, but had continued the crossing under sail alone. As the wind died and the tide built up against them they rigged up a small outboard motor to help make headway - but they didn't have enough fuel to complete the journey.

The UK Coastguard were monitoring their progress and requested the assistance of Swanage lifeboat when it became clear that the yacht couldn't easily avoid other traffic and several large cruise ships and commercial vessels were in the area.

The lifeboat launched and plotted a course, making very good speed in flat seas. A little over 30 minutes later, two crew were placed on board the yacht to help secure a tow and a new course was plotted back to Swanage - this time at considerably less speed.

Roughly three and a half hours later the two boats rounded Peveril Point into Swanage Bay. The yacht was taken alongside the lifeboat and secured to the lifeboat mooring for the remainder of the night. The two occupants stayed on board to get some well-deserved rest, while the lifeboat crew recovered the lifeboat, washed and re-fuelled ready for the next incident, and returned to their homes just as the first light of dawn began to appear.

ALB Crew: (Coxn) Dave Turnbull, Robert Aggas, Steve Williams, Gavin Steeden, John Deas, Alan Parmenter
Shore Crew: (Head Launcher) Andy Redout, (Winchman) Paul Bedford, Ben Clarke, Jamie Trumper, Nigel Bower

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Becky Mack, Swanage RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07812 558487 or at [email protected]

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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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