Ilfracombe RNLI launched to assist yacht near Mortehoe

Ilfracombe RNLI launched to assist yacht near Mortehoe

Ilfracombe RNLI launched to assist yacht near Mortehoe - Credit: RNLI

A 26-foot yacht had to be guided to port by the Ilfracombe RNLI after getting into difficulties in the early hours of Easter Sunday. 

The Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat was tasked on April 4, 2021 at 4.31 am by the Coastguard to assist a yacht with a ruptured fuel line, six miles north west of Bull Point, near Mortehoe. 

The RNLI volunteer crew were woken by the pagers going off at 4.31am and a few minutes later assembled at the station. The RNLI Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation was quickly launched at almost low tide, and made good speed in calm conditions with little wind out towards Bull Point. 

The 26-foot Sadler yacht was found 20 minutes later five miles from Bull Point and the RNLI Volunteer Coxswain, Carl Perrin, made contact with the two crew. 

The yacht was on passage under engine due to light winds from Teignmouth to Porthcawl, when the two crew discovered a rupture in the fuel line. 

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The crew then called the Coastguard as they were concerned that they would not have enough fuel to reach port. The crew had made repairs as best they could and diverted towards Ilfracombe as the nearest harbour when they were found by the lifeboat. 

Following discussions with the yacht’s crew, the yacht continued towards Ilfracombe escorted by the lifeboat. Once the vessel reached the harbour with very little fuel left, the crew were instructed to turn the engine off and the lifeboat then towed the yacht alongside to a safe mooring within the harbour. 

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Once the yacht was secure the lifeboat returned to the station at 6.30am to be recovered and made ready for the next service. 

Carl Perrin, volunteer RNLI Coxswain for Ilfracombe’s RNLI Lifeboat, said: “The yacht’s crew did the right thing and called the Coastguard early once they knew they had a problem and might not have had enough fuel to reach port. 

“This was only the second shout for the RNLI lifeboat crew since December, and they responded very quickly and professionally despite having very little on the water training since lockdown.” 

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