Yacht drifting in shipping lane rescued by Swanage RNLI

Swanage lifeboat crew successfully recovered a yacht with engine failure in the English Channel, in what turned out to be a six hour marathon.

The 10 metre yacht was reported to be in difficulty 19 nautical miles south of Durlston Head near Swanage in Dorset.

Swanage lifeboat rescue of boat
Swanage RNLI

The yacht was drifting in the English Channel with no engine or wind power

No engine power

At 4.46 pm on Sunday 17th September 2023, Swanage’s all weather lifeboat launched and headed to the yacht’s last known position.

On arrival, the vessel was found to be drifting in a busy shipping area due to no engine power and little hope of using the sails in the very light winds.

Swanage lifeboat rescue of boat
Swanage RNLI

Swanage Lifeboat volunteer Matt Steeden (right) prepares to undertake the tricky task of transferring from the lifeboat to the stricken yacht

Lifeboat volunteer boarded the yacht

Swanage Lifeboat Station reported:

“Once on the scene a crew member was transferred across to the yacht to assess the situation on board. The towline was passed across, made secure and a slow tow was commenced towards Weymouth.

“Once the casualty was a few miles off Weymouth the tow was handed over to Weymouth inshore lifeboat who took them the rest of the way into Weymouth Harbour.”

The Swanage lifeboat was then able to return to its lifeboat station, finally arriving back late at night, a little more than six hours after launching.

Weymouth lifeboat towing a boat
Weymouth RNLI

Weymouth’s all weather lifeboat had towed another yacht near Lulworth Cove back to safety early on the morning of Saturday 16th September 2023

Second yacht rescue for Weymouth RNLI

This was the second time that weekend that the Weymouth lifeboat crew had helped rescue a yacht in trouble.

On Saturday 16th September 2023 Weymouth’s all weather lifeboat launched at 4.20 am in the morning to assist a yacht near the entrance to Lulworth Cove, that had run aground with two people on board and was taking on water.

The lifeboat then towed the vessel back into the safety of Portland Harbour.

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