Two men on board a yacht which was sinking in rough seas and high winds off the Northumberland coast, near Amble, were involved in a dramatic rescue mission during the night.
The Coastguard received a 999 call at 11pm, reporting the yacht Fancy Free was taking on water, and it alerted Amble RNLI and RAF Boulmer. The lifeboat was launched from Amble at 11.15pm and, at 11.52pm, located the stricken boat, which had sprung a leak, with the water level reaching above the deck.
In 35mph winds and a 3metre sea swell, the crew attempted to use a pump on the yacht to remove the water, but the recoil-start cable snapped.
The Sea King from RAF Boulmer then arrived and another pump was winched down. Water was pumped out and the yacht towed to safety at 12.53am but as it was tow tide the lifeboat had to wait until about 4am when the sea had risen enough to allow them access to Warkworth Harbour at Amble.
“It was a poor night and a rough sea,” said David Bell, second coxswain on the Amble lifeboat, which had a crew of seven on board. “If it hadn’t been for the helicopter, that boat wouldn’t be here today. Who knows what will happen when the helicopters are an hour away with the new service?
“The two men were certainly pleased to see us and were very grateful for being rescued.”
The video shows the moment the crew on the RAF Sea King winched down the pump. It was filmed by Robert Henderson, RNLI Amble’s 2nd deputy coxswain.