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Lone yachtsman towed to safety by Harwich RNLI close to The Port of Felixstowe

Lifeboats News Release

On 28 July, 2023 at 1.04pm the Harwich inshore lifeboat (ILB) was swiftly dispatched to respond to a distress call from a 26-foot yacht in need of assistance.

RNLI/Adam Prescott

Harwich ILB towing the casualty to safety

The yacht, with only one person on board, found itself entangled in a perilous situation - its propeller entwined in a lobster pot amidst the busy waters of Pennyhole Bay, situated off Walton-on-the-Naze.

Upon arriving at the scene, the volunteers assessed the situation, devising a plan to carefully free the yacht from the entanglement. As the stricken vessel's propeller had suffered damage due to its entanglement with the lobster pot, and its propulsion impaired, the yacht was rendered helpless. Therefore, posing a significant risk in the vicinity of the bustling ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

The volunteers of the ILB understood the gravity of the situation, recognising that leaving the yacht adrift could lead to potential collisions with other vessels, endangering not only the lone person on board but also posing a threat to the safety of other mariners in the busy waterways.

Hence, towing the yacht to safety was not only a prudent decision but a critical one. With utmost care, the volunteer RNLI crew securely attached a tow line to the disabled vessel, ensuring a steady and controlled transit to Shotley Marina.

Having completed the rescue and accomplished their mission, the ILB and its crew returned to Harwich, they quickly refuelled the ILB, ensuring it was primed and ready for the next call for help.

Notes to Editors

The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Harwich RNLI is based on The Quay, Harwich. The lifeboat station was founded in 1829 and the volunteer crew use an all-weather Severn class lifeboat (ALB) The Duke of Kent and B class lifeboat (ILB) Tierney, Harvey and Sonny Reid.

The Port of Felixstowe, Suffolk, is the United Kingdom's largest container port, dealing with 48% of Britain's containerised trade

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact Adam Prescott, volunteer RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]

Or, the RNLI Press Office: [email protected]

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.