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Two yachtsmen rescued by Barrow lifeboat
9:26am Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
VOLUNTEER crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched their all weather lifeboat last night to go to the assistance of two sailors in the Irish Sea.
Liverpool Coastguard had requested lifeboat assistance after a 31-foot ketch, with two crew aboard, suffered gearbox failure and a problem with the rigging in the Irish Sea, at a position 20 miles northwest of the lifeboat station. The vessel had been en route from Fleetwood to the Isle of Man.
The Tamar class lifeboat ‘Grace Dixon’ was launched with crew Jonny Long, Paul Heavyside, Dave Kell, Andy Baxter, Ben Jackson and Mark Harper, under the command of Coxswain Shaun Charnley.
Due to the westerly gale with winds gusting 30 to 40 knots and waves 15 foot high, it took the lifeboat over an hour to reach the casualty. There was no option but to tow the vessel to safer waters, but with the prevailing weather it was a difficult task to negotiate the lifeboat into position to pass a towline. Once this was secured it then took four hours to tow the ketch to a safe and sheltered mooring.
The lifeboat returned to station at 2am where she was washed off and made ready for the next service.
Coxswain Shaun Charnley said, “The crew of the casualty were experienced sailors, but they were caught out by the failure of the gearbox, and the worsening weather made their position impossible without assistance. We just brought them back to a safe mooring."