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Bangor RNLI assist two people on a run aground yacht in Belfast Lough

Lifeboats News Release

Bangor RNLI were tasked with assisting two people stuck on a run aground yacht in low tide on Sunday (10 July) afternoon in Belfast Lough near Helen’s Bay.

Bangor RNLI onboard the Jessie Hillyard.


Bangor RNLI on board the Jessie Hillyard.

The two casualties were out sailing on their Hunter Sonata 7 yacht when they were caught by a low tide near Helen’s Bay, and called the Coast Guard for help.

The volunteer crew launched the Jessie Hillyard, helmed by John Bell, into moderate and cloudy conditions, and arrived at the scene shortly after.

On arrival the crew assessed the situation carefully and ensured that they had enough clearance for the lifeboat to get close to the yacht. The crew initially established a tow line to the back of the vessel, before deciding to attach the rope to the front to free the run aground yacht.

The lifeboat towed the yacht into deeper water and checked that it was not taking on water. The crew were satisfied that the man and woman on board were well and the yacht was dry. Both people on board were happy to continue on their journey, so the Jessie Hillyard returned to Bangor to be made ready for the next call out.

Speaking after the call out Mark Johnston, Bangor RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, said: 'This rescue highlights the importance of carrying a mobile phone, or any means of communication, when you go out on the water. With the hot weather due to come our way this month, we expect to have a lot of people out on the water, so it is vital that people have a way of contacting the Coast Guard by calling 112 or 999, if they get into difficulty.'


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.