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Donaghadee RNLI helps three people onboard yacht taking on water

Lifeboats News Release

Donaghadee RNLI's lifeboat was launched today (Thursday 19 May) to assist a yacht taking water onboard approximately 12 miles North East of Bangor, County Down.


Donaghadee RNLI

The volunteer crew of Donaghadee RNLI were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 3.22pm to reports of a 8m yacht in difficulty at the mouth of Belfast Lough.

The yacht, with three people onboard, left Stranraer at 9.45am and was on route to Bangor when it requested assistance from the Coastguard due to taking on water. The crew reported that they could see Kilroot Power Station but were unable to narrow down their position.

In moderate sea conditions but good visibility, Donaghadee's all-weather lifeboat Saxon, launched at 3.33pm and proceeded at full speed toward Belfast Lough. Meanwhile, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 118 from Sligo, which had been on another call out further North, were able to offer assistance in locating the yacht.

To help find them, the crew of the yacht set off a red flare, enabling the crew of the lifeboat to determine their position and consequently Saxon was on scene at 4.11pm followed shortly by the helicopter.

As the vessels own pump was doing a sufficient job at keeping the water at bay, the crew on the lifeboat established a tow line to the yacht and proceeded to tow at a speed of approximately 5 knots to the nearest safe port safe port at Bangor Marina, arriving shortly after 6pm.

Earlier in the week on Tuesday (17 May) at 5.55am, the volunteer crew were launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard after reports from a member of the general public who reported sightings of a man in a small boat holding onto a lobster pot just North of Ballywalter Harbour.

The lifeboat launched into moderate to rough conditions and proceeded at full speed toward the casualty, who’s outboard engine had broken down. It transpired that the casualty had contacted a family member with a boat to assist. The lifeboat stayed on scene until the assisting vessel arrived and returned to Donaghadee Harbour at 7.20am.

Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain Philip McNamara said: ‘Two positive results this week from our call outs. It is a credit to the member of the public who called in the small punt holding onto the lobster pot - we would always encourage the public to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they are worried, the earlier we are launched the more likely a positive result.

'We were happy to ensure the remaining safe passage of the 8m yacht and her crew into Bangor Marina and again it highlighted the importance of asking for help as earlier as possible to ensure a positive outcome as is having the relevant equipment onboard to communicate and help us locate you is essential. As always the crew’s quick response and skill were superb, and I extend my thanks to them.’


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.