Lifeboat faces 10-hour call-out to rescue yacht halfway to the Netherlands

Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, Bridie O’Shea, towing the 32ft Dutch yacht into Lowestoft.

Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, Bridie O’Shea, towing the 32ft Dutch yacht into Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

A Dutch yacht in difficulty almost halfway between the UK and the Netherlands sparked a response from an east coast lifeboat crew.

The Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, Bridie O’Shea, responded to a mayday message from the 32ft Dutch yacht on Friday night (August 20) after she suffered electrical problems and lost power 42 miles east of Lowestoft.

Lowestoft RNLI Coxswain John Fox said: "We were called by UK Coastguard at 9.30pm on August 20 to assist the 32ft Dutch yacht that had electrical problems and had lost power.

"It took us almost two hours to reach the vessel.

"Fortunately a large roll-on roll-off passenger ship had heard the distress call and was standing by the sailing boat until we arrived.”


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With the yacht adrift in a very busy shipping lane "without lights or navigation aids", Mr Fox added: "It was agreed with UK Coastguard that the safest way to help the yacht was for the lifeboat to tow her to safety."

Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, Bridie O’Shea, with the 32ft Dutch yacht in Lowestoft.

Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, Bridie O’Shea, with the 32ft Dutch yacht in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

The tow took almost eight hours as the lifeboat successfully brought the yacht into the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club Marina in Lowestoft, arriving at 7.30am on Saturday, where she was met by the Lowestoft Coastguard Rescue Team.

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