Ramsgate RNLI launch to the aid of a yacht drifting close to the Goodwin Sands.

Lifeboats News Release

A yacht competing in a local regatta race found itself in difficulties whilst racing inshore of the Goodwin Sands.

A Trent class lifeboat at sea

RNLI/Sarah Hewes

Library photo of the Esme Anderson

On Sunday 6 August at 12.06 in moderating winds the all-weather lifeboat Esme Anderson launched to a fourteen metre yacht that had put a MayDay out due to a total loss of steering and drifting close to the Goodwin Sands.

The yacht was competing in the Round the Goodwins race which is held as part of the annual Ramsgate Week regatta. The start had been delayed by an hour and a half to allow the winds to die down and over thirty yachts to compete, although due to the conditions they were racing inshore of the Sands not all the way around it.

An off duty volunteer Ramsgate RNLI crew member was competing in the race onboard the stricken yacht and as the skipper had been injured when the rudder broke, took control of the situation, put out a MayDay and deployed their drogue. He then assessed the situation with the injury and applied first aid.

Speed was essential with strong winds blowing the yacht towards the notorious Goodwin Sands. Once on scene the all-weather boat passed a line and requested that the casualty re-deployed their drogue , which is a conical or funnel-shaped device with open ends, towed behind a boat to add weight to the stern to improve stability.

With everyone secure the yacht was towed into the shelter of Ramsgate Royal Harbour.

The crew of the yacht then took to social media praising the volunteer crew for the calm efficient way everything was handled and thanking the RNLI for their dedication.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said, ‘ This type of situation can be very frightening when an accident happens at sea but these are exactly the situations that we are trained to handle.’

Karen Cox Lifeboat Press Officer Tel 07779848431 Email [email protected]

Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East. tel 07785 296252 email [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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