RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat heads into the dark to rescue stricken yacht

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Torbay volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked at around 8.05pm on the evening of Tuesday 11 September to assist a 14 metre sailing yacht, Pelagis, some 6 miles east of Hopes Nose.

RNLI/Nigel Crang

Sailing vessel Pelagis as the tow-line is attached in the darkness by RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat crew

Ironically, the tasking for the Torbay crew came in just as many of the volunteers were settling down to watch the station’s rescue of a casualty severely injured in a yacht collision during the Brixfest 2017 regatta. The programme, an episode of current series Saving Lives at Sea, was about to air on television at 8pm just as the pagers went off!

The skipper of Pelagis (which had two persons on board) had reported propellor and rudder problems, meaning the yacht could not make her own way to port. The all-weather lifeboat crew set off as darkness fell, and were able to rendezvous with the casualty vessel and attach a tow line.

Powerful Severn Class all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes – with duty Coxswain John Heale in charge - was then able to steadily tow Pelagis to just outside Brixham Breakwater, where she was placed alongside the lifeboat to be brought safely to a mooring on Brixham Events Pontoon in the dark and drizzly conditions.

The lifeboat crew then returned to station, readying and refuelling the lifeboat for her next service by around 11.05pm. The volunteers have since caught up on their missed Saving Lives at Sea episode with on-demand viewing services!

Notes to editors

Photos show Pelagis being towed in the darkness, then the casualty vessel safely at her mooring in Brixham Harbour. Photos courtesy of RNLI / Nigel Crang

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer

07794 043 428 or vicki_bowen@rnli.org.uk

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer:

01752 854450 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

or RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789 (24 hours)

RNLI/Nigel Crang

An RNLI Torbay crew member on board Pelagis as she is placed alongside the all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Nigel Crang

The RNLI Torbay lifeboat volunteer crew with skipper of Pelagis safely at her mooring

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 over 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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