Hat-Trick of Calls Prompts Anchor Safety Warning From Holyhead RNLI
Holyhead RNLI have issued advice regarding the use of anchors in open water, after a hat-trick of shouts over three days was completed yesterday by their volunteer crew.
Pagers sounded at 5.50pm on Monday (18 July) requesting the launch of the all-weather lifeboat
Christopher Pearce to assist a broken down vessel south of the Skerries, off the coast of Anglesey. The bayliner, with one person on board, had dropped anchor just south of the rocky islet, after suffering engine trouble.
Within fifteen minutes, the lifeboat was on her way, in calm but hot conditions, and reached the location, which turned out to be the area known as Langdon Ridge, approximately three miles off the Holyhead coast, twenty minutes later. A crewman was placed aboard the casualty boat, and after checking the occupant was fit and well, a tow was quickly established.
It was decided to tow the bayliner back to the safety of Holyhead harbour, so the lifeboat headed towards Holyhead landing stage, where the vessel was berthed at 7pm, before the lifeboat headed back to her own berth in Holyhead Port, arriving back just before 7.30pm.
Holyhead coxswain Tony Price issued a word of caution to other sailors in the area should they get into a similar position:
‘While the instinct is to anchor your vessel – and that is certainly the right thing to do if you are driven towards rocks, in more open areas you may be safer to make a distress call to HM Coastguard, and keep them informed of your position if you move with the tide. We have incredibly strong tides in the Langdon Ridge, Skerries and South Stack area, so it’s actually safer not to anchor down in open sea, because a vessel – especially a smaller one, can potentially be pulled down with the tide.’
He added that the man had all necessary safety equipment, but had suuufered a failure of the main cooling water pump belt. He had carried spare parts for his vessel on board, but had realised he had the incorrect fitting for the problem he encountered.
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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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