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Angle RNLI launch to vessel in difficulty in rough seas and strong winds

Lifeboats News Release

Angle RNLI assisted a vessel in difficulty in 50kts of wind and 6-8 metre seas.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Angle all-weather lifeboat
Angle All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 9:52am this morning following a call for assistance from a 24 metre guard vessel in an approximate position 4.5 miles south west of Skokholm Island. The vessel, with five persons onboard had lost all power due to a suspected fuel issue. With wind gusting 50kts and six to eight metre seas the lifeboat was requested to offer assistance.

The crew made the difficult journey in far from favourable conditions and arrived on scene with the vessel around an hour later. After assessing the situation, with no commercial tug available to assist and all other avenues exhausted by the coastguard as well as taking into consideration that the vessel was drifting towards Skokholm Island it was decided the safest course of action was to undertake a tow to the nearest safe haven of Milford Haven.

The crew rigged a tow and managed to secure a line to the vessel and began towing however due to the conditions the tow parted shortly after. With the line recovered and reset, the crew made a second attempt and managed to secure a line once again.

Due to the sea conditions and swell direction, the safest way forward was to tow the vessel in a south easterly direction and almost “tack” to avoid the following swell, before altering course and heading for the west channel into Milford Haven. At this point, the crew were informed that a tug had been arranged rendezvous with the lifeboat in Dale Roads to take over the tow up to the Port of Pembroke.

Once arriving in Dale Roads six hours after launching, the crew shortened the tow and held position for around half an hour until the tug arrived on scene. Once the tug arrived, and their skipper had assessed the situation it was determined safer for the lifeboat to head for Chapel Bay where there was more shelter for the tug to take over the tow. The tug manoeuvred alongside and made fast and the lifeboat was able to drop the tow and safely hand over to the tug and her crew.

With no further assistance required, the lifeboat and her crew were stood down with thanks and returned to station where she was readied for further service by 1730, over seven hours after first launching.

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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