Lifeboat crews raced to the rescue after a wind-battered yacht was left beached in South Shields today.
A lifeboat crew raced to the rescue after strong winds left a yacht beached in South Shields today.
The alarm was raised at 11.45am this morning by keen-eyed members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade who spotted the 6m yacht become grounded at wind-battered Sandhaven beach.
The volunteers attempted to assist the lone yachtsman but after their efforts failed they requested the launch of a Tynemouth Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat.
The inshore lifeboat with three volunteer crew members sped to the scene, arriving after just two minutes after the call out.
After assessing the situation the helm decided to put a rope onto the yacht’s bow to drag it round off the beach and a volunteer crewman entered the water to pass the tow rope over.
Once that was done the lifeboat started dragging the yacht round and off the beach but the winds were hampering the crew’s efforts so they radioed the lifeboat station and requested that more crew members come across with the station boarding boat – a former D-class inshore lifeboat – to help with maneuvering the yacht as the water was too shallow for the all weather lifeboat.
The yacht was soon out of danger but its rudder had snapped and it was taking on water so a crew member was put on board as a precaution and to assist the yachtsman, while she was towed to Royal Quays Marina where she could be immediately lifted out of the water.
The boarding boat accompanied the inshore lifeboat and assisted maneuvering the yacht through the marina lock and onto the hoist.
Once the yacht and her skipper were safe the lifeboats passed back through the lock and returned to station, arriving an hour after launching.