Seahouses lifeboats rescue yacht off Holy Island

The inshore lifeboat RNLB Grace Darling.The inshore lifeboat RNLB Grace Darling.
The inshore lifeboat RNLB Grace Darling.
Both Seahouses lifeboats were launched after a yacht got into difficulty half-a-mile off Eammanuel Head at Holy Island.

The alarm was raised at 3.10pm yesterday (Thursday). A 11m single-crewed yacht had snagged two ropes on its rudder and propeller, and the yachtsman was struggling to lower the sails.

The inshore lifeboat was first to arrive on scene, followed by the larger Shannon Class lifeboat, which was slightly delayed launching due to the low tide.

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Efforts were made to free the ropes, but due to the overhanging stern of the yacht and the boat’s vertical motion in the choppy sea conditions, it became dangerous and difficult for the lifeboat crew to free the ropes.

It was then decided, with the yacht skipper’s consent, to tow the yacht to the shelter of the Kettle mooring at the Inner Farne Islands.

Here, it was safer to make further efforts in calmer water, to free the ropes. This was eventually achieved, and the yacht regained its steerage and propulsion. The coxswain advised the yachtsman to remain at the Kettle overnight, but he preferred to return to the anchorage at Holy Island. Both lifeboats then returned to station at about 8pm.

Seahouses Lifeboat press officer Ian Clayton said: “This turned out to be quite a protracted service but after some considerable difficulty, the yacht was freed.

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"Unfortunately, snagging lobster pot markers can be a problem for yachtsman, who need to keep a keen look out, as some pot markers and floats are not always easy to spot.

"Fortunately on this occasion, our crew were eventually able to assist in freeing the yacht completely.”

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