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Yacht suffering engine failure and taking on water is rescued by Dungeness RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 27 May at 5.20pm, the volunteer crew of Dungeness lifeboat were tasked to assist two people on a yacht with engine failure at risk of running aground south of Dungeness point.

RNLI/Craig Edwards

Dungeness lifeboat assisting the yacht
The Shannon-class lifeboat and her seven volunteer crew launched in approximately 15 minutes and arrived on scene very quickly.

Once on scene, a crewman was put aboard the yacht and it was established that the engine had stopped working due to a fuel bug. Due to the proximity of the shoreline and the yacht's lack of power, it was decided that the lifeboat needed to tow the yacht to the nearest safe haven for repairs - Dover Marina.

A tow line was set up and the lifeboat began to tow the yacht to Dover.

Approximately 4 miles south-west of Hythe, it was noted that the casualty vessel was taking on water and so the tow was stopped and another RNLI crewman was placed onboard the yacht to help assess the water ingress.

After checks were made, it was clear that the yacht's pumps were coping with the water ingress and so the tow was re-established and they made their way to Dover.

Once safely alongside in the marina, the yacht and her two crew were left to arrange repairs for their vessel and the lifeboat returned to Dungeness and was made ready for service by 01.05am.

Coxswain, Stuart Adams, says:

'The crew on the yacht did the right thing today in hailing the coastguard for assistance. They were not far from shore and with no power, they could have found themselves running aground. It shows the importance of having at least one means of communication when at sea, so that you can call for help if the unexpected happens.'

RNLI/Craig Edwards

Dungeness lifeboat towing the yacht

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.