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Portaferry RNLI launch to assist sailing yacht in difficulty

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Friday (18 August) at 4:57pm to Assist sailing yacht in difficulty.


A 28ft sailing yacht with three people on board had run into trouble off Ardglass. The crew of two adults and a child, had found it difficult to make way against the rough weather conditions and with their engine running low on fuel they radioed the Coastguard for assistance.

The all-weather lifeboat, the Leonard Kent, from Newcastle RNLI, under the command of Coxswain Gerry McConkey launched at approximately 5:40pm to assist Portaferry RNLI, if required. Conditions were difficult with an easterly / south easterly wind and rough waves between 2.5 and 3.5 metres.

Having first ensured that the three people on board were not in need of any immediate assistance themselves, the Helm assessed the situation and made the decision that taking the vessel under tow was the safety way to assist the casualties. The yacht was taken under tow to the nearest safe and suitable port, which was Ardglass Marina, by the Portaferry lifeboat.

With the sailing yacht safely berthed, Portaferry lifeboat departed the scene at 7:10pm and returned to the boathouse at 7:55pm.


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.