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Portaferry RNLI rescue lone sailor onboard stricken yacht

Posted on April 12, 2018 at 11:15 AM

The pagers sounded on Wednesday 11 April 2018, for the volunteers from Portaferry RNLI to go to the aid of a man onboard an 18-foot yacht experiencing serious problems off the County Down coast.

Portaferry RNLI’s ‘Bluepeter V’ Atlantic 85 class lifeboat approaches casualty yacht. Photo: RNLI/Portaferry

The man was two miles from the entrance to Strangford Lough when he started to get into difficulty.

The volunteer crew launched at 2.33pm in cloudy conditions, with good visibility and a force 4 to 5 easterly wind.

Sea conditions at the time of launch were moderate, but when the RNLI crew arrived on scene at 2.50pm they were met by very rough seas and large swells.

Having assessed the situation once they had located the casualty vessel, the Helm of the Portaferry RNLI lifeboat deemed that it would be too dangerous to attempt a tow due to the extremely challenging conditions they were experiencing.

Instead, a volunteer crew member from the Portaferry RNLI was put on board the casualty vessel to help sail it into Ardglass Harbour.

Also in attendance were a volunteer crew from Newcastle RNLI station onboard their all-weather lifeboat, standing by to offer assistance should it be required.

The Portaferry lifeboat then escorted the casualty vessel to the safety of the pontoons at Ardglass Harbour and into the hands of the Newcastle Coastguard team.

Commenting on today’s rescue, Simon Rogers, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Our volunteer crew faced challenging conditions during this rescue, encountering extremely rough sea conditions. The man onboard the casualty vessel did the right thing calling for help before things got out of hand.

'We would like to stress at this time, when more and more boats are returning to the water, that everyone planning any sea trip respect the water and take all necessary precautions.’

Categories: RNLI News