Holyhead RNLI Rescue Yacht Stranded on Rocks

Lifeboats News Release

A yacht stuck on rocks off the Anglesey coast meant that Holyhead RNLI lifeboat crew were tasked twice on Sunday 19 May.

The 25-foot vessel, with two people on board, had become aground on the rocky island of The Skerries, approximately two miles from the coast at Carmel Head, Anglesey.

The first call came at 1.52pm, citing a craft had become caught on a rock in the Skerries lagoon a falling tide. The all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce, carrying the volunteer crew, quickly headed to the area.

On arriving at the location, it was obvious that the vessel could not be removed from where she was stuck at that time, due to the tide, and so the RNLI Y-boat was launched from the larger lifeboat to check the condition and placing of the casualty vessel, and to ensure the crew on board were brought safely onto the lifeboat. The ALB with her crew and the casualties returned back to shore, arriving back in Holyhead just after 5pm.

After consulting with the Holyhead coastguard, it was decided that the crew would return in the evening to help free the stricken craft, once the tides were suitable, and so pagers sounded again at 7pm for the crew to re-assemble and take the vessel’s owner back to his craft and free her.

This time, the D-class inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper also launched to assist in the rescue, with the larger Severn-class lifeboat also attending for a second time.

On reaching the location, the inshore lifeboat was used to manoeuvre the casualty vessel into a safe position, and the crew then waited for the vessel to rise with the flooding tide. She was then moved into deeper water so that a tow could be established from the ALB.

The Christopher Pearce then towed the casualty vessel back to the mouth of Holyhead Harbour, escorted by the ILB. The inshore lifeboat then stood down and returned to station at approximately 11.15pm. The ALB towed the stricken vessel to the mouth of the inner harbour, and checked her propulsion before escorting her to Holyhead Marina, before heading to her own berth at the port. She returned at approximately 12.15am Monday, where she was refueled and made ready for any further service.

Duty coxswain Craig Stalman said:

'It was unusual for us to be called out in such calm conditions, there was a big spring tide of eight knots running around the Skerries, and the crew all worked together to achieve a successful outcome. As we waited for the tide to rise, we were accompanied by dozens of seals who seems to be enjoying the spectacle.'

He added:

'The sailor had entered the lagoon successfully, but had taken the incorrect passage out.'

Holyhead’s lifeboat operations manager (LOM) David Owens said:

‘It was a great team effort from all of the crew, who once again showed their immense skill and dedication. Thankfully, both the casualties and our volunteers all returned safely to shore after several hours at sea.’

He added,

'This incident shows how, even in calm weather, the tides can render even an experienced sailor helpless. Thankfully he had means of calling for help, and did the right thing in contacting the coastguard.'

For more information, please contact:

Vicki Owens, Holyhead Lifeboat Press Officer,

on 07531 681409 or at vickilou11@gmail.com

RNLI/Simon Price

Holyhead's inshore lifeboat volunteers freeing the stranded yacht on Sunday evening

RNLI/Craig Stalman

The yacht was berthed on rocks after being caught in a falling tide in the Skerries lagoon

RNLI/Craig Stalman

RNLI/Simon Price

The inshore crew assess the position of the stricken yacht

RNLI/Simon Price

The all-weather lifeboat standing by to oversee the rescue

RNLI/Simon Price

The casualty vessel was safely towed back to Holyhead Harbour.

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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