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Dungeness RNLI lifeboat tasked to small yacht with sails blown out and no fuel

On Wednesday 5 October at 4pm the lifeboat was tasked by Dover Coastguard to assist a 21 foot yacht whose sails had blown out and had no fuel with two persons on board, one mile west south west of Dungeness. The small yacht was on passage from Yarmouth to Plymouth in force 6 easterly winds with 2 metre swells.

Once on scene, Coxswain Stuart Adams in command of the RNLI lifeboat 13-02 ‘The Morrell’ put one volunteer crewmember aboard the casualty to assess the situation. It was decided to transfer one person from the yacht to the lifeboat and a tow was established between lifeboat and casualty to enable a safe towage to Eastbourne. On nearing Hastings, the Hastings Mersey class lifeboat with her volunteer crew was launched to rendezvous with Dungeness and take the tow onwards to Eastbourne. The Dungeness lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and was ready for service by 8.30pm.

Coxswain Adams said ‘This vessel was not equipped for the weather conditions. Any vessel putting to sea should have the appropriate lifesaving equipment aboard and get an updated weather forecast before leaving.

Casualty 5 October 2016Photograph of casualty taken from the RNLI Shannon class lifeboat 13-02 by volunteer crew member Natalie Adams

RNLI media contacts

  • Judith Richardson – Dungeness RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    01797 320062 / 07859 264226 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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Key facts about the RNLI: The RNLI is the charity that 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 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 140 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 137,000 lives.

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Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland.