RNLI lifeboat crew rescues German yacht off South Shields coast

The German yacht Baxkiste is towed to safety by Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat after suffering engine failure eight miles south east of the Tyne en route from Heligoland to Edinburgh. Picture by Dave Robinson/RNLI
The German yacht Baxkiste is towed to safety by Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat after suffering engine failure eight miles south east of the Tyne en route from Heligoland to Edinburgh. Picture by Dave Robinson/RNLI

SIX sailors were rescued from a yacht after it got into difficulty off the South Shields coast.

The Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat was scrambled last night vessel’s engine failed, leaving it and her crew in difficulty eight miles south east of the Tyne piers.

The German yacht Baxkiste is towed to safety by Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat after suffering engine failure eight miles south east of the Tyne en route from Heligoland to Edinburgh. Picture by Dave Robinson/RNLI

The German yacht Baxkiste is towed to safety by Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat after suffering engine failure eight miles south east of the Tyne en route from Heligoland to Edinburgh. Picture by Dave Robinson/RNLI

The skipper of the 12m Baxkiste called for assistance as they were passing the north east coast during a race from the German island of Heligoland to Edinburgh.

Humber Coastguard requested Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat to launch at 8.16pm which reached the Baxkiste 20 minutes later.

The lifeboat crew assessed the situation and The Baxkiste sailed without assistance part of the way to the Tyne before her sails were lowered and the lifeboat’s tow rope attached. The yacht was then towed to Royal Quays Marina and once safely tied up, the lifeboat returned to station, arriving back at 9.50pm

Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: “Although the Baxkiste could still sail, having an engine as an emergency backup is essential and carrying on without it would have been inadvisable, and it would have been impossible for them to navigate in harbour.

“Although the yachtsmen had arranged for repairs to be carried out at Royal Quays Marina, the RNLI lifeboat was needed to tow the yacht into the harbour and put her alongside a berth.

He added: “The rescue comes just a day after the lifeboat was launched to another German yacht 85 miles out to sea after its emergency distress beacon was activated, however this was found to be a false alarm by an RAF rescue helicopter sent to investigate, and the lifeboat was stood down and returned after travelling 20 miles out to sea.”