Lifeboat unable to save vessel after she took on water while at mooring

Ilfracombe's inshore lifeboat was launched to a sinking yacht in the town harbour yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

The moored yacht had not floated with the rising tide, but despite the best efforts of the volunteer lifeboat crew of the Deborah Brown II it could not be saved.

They tried to pump her out but it soon became clear they would be unable to refloat her.

The crew ensured the yacht's fenders were in place to protect her when she settled at low tide.

"The outcome of today's shout was not the one we hoped for," said RNLI helmsman Mark Weeks.

"Sadly, when we arrived with the yacht we could see we were unlikely to be able to rescue her, as the incoming tide was already covering her deck. Thankfully, however, there did not appear to be anyone aboard the vessel, so no lives were at risk.

"It was unclear exactly what had caused the yacht to begin taking on water, and unfortunately with the speed of the tide in this area we had very little time before she was completely underwater."