Holyhead Crew Rescue Lone Sailor On Rocks

Lifeboats News Release

Holyhead RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out in the early hours of yesterday morning (Monday 19 June) to aid a single-crewed sailing boat in trouble on rocks at Cemaes Bay.

The sailor of the 29ft yacht was sailing from the west coast of Scotland down to the Bristol Channel, and had anchored in the area overnight after sailing from the Isle of Man, to rest before continuing his journey. Overnight he was alerted to the fact his vessel had come off her anchor and had drifted onto rocks.

Lifeboat crew pagers sounded just before 2am, with HM Coastguard asking for the launch of Severn-class lifeboat Christopher Pearce. Volunteer crew assembled quickly, and the lifeboat was launched by 2.30am.

The lifeboat and crew were at the scene within twenty minutes of launch, and the daughter craft Y-boat was prepared for deployment. The casualty vessel was spotted with her stern end firmly on the rocks, and it was realised immediately that the man needed to be evacuated and brought onto the lifeboat, as the boat was listing. The Y-boat was deployed with two lifeboat volunteers, and the man was delivered safely onto the lifeboat. His personal welfare was checked, and he was found to be well. Due to the vessel’s position and the tide, it was decided it was too dangerous to try and removed her from the rocks at that time. The lifeboat stayed on scene for an hour to monitor the situation, but a decision was made to await the higher tide later in the day, and to retrieve the yacht in more appropriate conditions The intention was to prevent her from drifting and causing an issue for other vessels, or leaking fuel into the waters.

The lifeboat headed back to the safety of Holyhead, returning at 4.40am, where the man was able to rest at the lifeboat station for a while.

Crew reassembled for the second time a few hours later and the all-weather-lifeboat was launched at 8.30am, and once again headed back to the area. The casualty vessel was beginning to refloat, and so a tow was able to be established, and the lifeboat and yacht then made way back to Holyhead Marina, arriving back just before 1pm. The salvage pump was then used to remove the water that had been ingressed by the casualty vessel, which was found to have a hole in her bow. The lifeboat then headed back to her berth within Holyhead Port, to be made ready for any further calls.

Holyhead RNLI coxswain Tony Price said:

‘This was an excellent team effort by all concerned, for a true seamanship service. The man was a very well equipped and experienced sailor, who correctly raised the alarm as soon as he realised the trouble he was on. We were relieved to find him safe and well, and to bring him on board our all-weather lifeboat.’

For any further information, please contact Vicki Owens, Holyhead Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07531 681409, or 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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