Search

Dramatic sea rescue of rudderless yacht

PUBLISHED: 11:48 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:50 05 July 2010

THERE was a dramatic rescue at sea as the Spirit of Lowestoft lifeboat had to battle strong winds to rescue a stricken yacht, which lost its rudder after hitting a sandbank.

THERE was a dramatic rescue at sea as the Spirit of Lowestoft lifeboat had to battle strong winds to rescue a stricken yacht, which lost its rudder after hitting a sandbank.

The yacht, with a man and woman on board, ran into difficulty close to the harbour, on Sunday.

After an action-packed lifeboat station open day, the boat was sent out at 4.50pm in winds gusting about 50 knots.

The swell of the water meant that the rudder-less yacht was drifting and an onlooker said: “It could not steer and with the swirl it was spinning 180 degrees.”

Admitting this was “an outstanding service”, lifeboat spokesman Richard Musgrove said a towline was passed at the very first attempt in very poor weather conditions to the yacht that was pitching and rolling heavily and unable to steer due to the loss of the rudder.

“They were very difficult conditions and, on entry to the harbour there was a strong tide. It was only a short service but it was such a major incident,” he added.

Mr Musgrove explained that the lifeboat coxswain/mechanic John Fox and his team excelled during a difficult operation, in “driving rain and spray, a strong ebb tide and very confused rough seas”.

He said: “I have been a harbour pilot at Lowestoft for the past 18 years and I can assure that the entry through the piers was a very difficult manoeuvre to achieve.

“Due to the narrowness of the harbour entrance, the towline had to be kept very short and yet the rescue was effected without the line parting - this required great skill.”

It was noted how Mr Fox had to almost predict the sea to ensure the safe passage back to the harbour and steering the yacht to the north the lifeboat stopped the yacht hitting the South Pier.

The lifeboat safely towed the yacht back by 5.30pm.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists