Lifeboats return to free yacht

The Yacht, finally clear of the shingle bank, is escorted into Holy Island harbour. Picture by Seahouses RNLI.
The Yacht, finally clear of the shingle bank, is escorted into Holy Island harbour. Picture by Seahouses RNLI.

A yacht that was grounded off Holy Island yesterday was able to refloat following the return visit of two lifeboats.

UK Coastguard requested the launch of both the Seahouses all-weather and inshore vessels in the morning to go to the assistance of a 26ft yacht with three persons and a dog on board.

The yacht had run aground on the gravel outcrop at Holy Island, near the haven, known as the Rigg, and was unable free itself.

The tide was falling quite quickly, and it was impossible for the lifeboats to try and tow the craft off without causing serious damage. After consultation with the yacht crew, who were in no danger, it was agreed that they be left in situ.

Both lifeboats re-launched at 5pm and returned to the yacht to assist it on the high tide yesterday evening.

Given the recent tide levels, if it could not be freed there was a risk it could be marooned for a week at least until the tides started to pick up again.

At the point of high tide, the yacht was still not refloating. But with some wash generated by the lifeboats, it was finally possible to gently tow the yacht clear.

Care had to be taken to prevent any damage to the yacht’s hull.

The vessel, once finally clear, was escorted to Holy Island harbour, where it was met by the local Coastguard Rescue Team.

After a friendly chat between the Coastguard, yacht crew and lifeboat crews, both Seahouses lifeboats returned to station at 8.30pm.