Ilfracombe RNLI respond to the shout - Credit: RNLI/Gudrun Limbrick

Early morning shout for RNLI after yacht drags anchor

Joseph Bulmer

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a lone fisherman by Verity noticed a yacht dragging its anchor in Ilfracombe’s outer harbour. The angler immediately called 999 to notify the Coastguard of the problem.

Ilfracombe's volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 1.20am and made their way quickly down to the Harbour. The inshore lifeboat, with volunteer Ben Langham at the helm, was immediately launched and the all-weather lifeboat was put on immediate readiness with the crew all in place, while the situation was assessed.

The 40ft yacht had arrived late on Monday evening stopping off on its journey to Watchet from Spain. And the skipper on board was sound asleep when the yacht started to move, dragging her anchor.

Fortunately, the skipper became aware of the issue in good time and the inshore lifeboat was able to assist the yacht safely to a mooring.

The all-weather lifeboat was stood down and the inshore lifeboat crew were back at the station by 2.30am. The boat, tractor and equipment were then all washed down and made ready for the next shout.

The RNLI Deputy Launching Authority on the shout, Ian Meadlarkin, said "We are very grateful to the angler for raising the alarm and calling 999. If something does not look right, it is always wise to let the Coastguard know so that we can properly assess the situation - we are ready whatever the time of day."

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