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Moelfre RNLI lifeboat crew rescue 3 people from sinking 75 foot super-yacht

Lifeboats News Release

Moelfre’s all-weather lifeboat kiwi and her volunteer crew pulled three men to safety yesterday afternoon after their 35,000kg; 23 meter super- yacht grounded and started to sink off Moelfre’s historic former lifeboat station at Porth Neigwl

Moelfre’s all-weather Lifeboat ‘kiwi’ launched shortly after 1:00pm yesterday after Holyhead Coastguard received a VHF radio distress call from the occupants of a grounded vessel in Moelfre bay. The lifeboat was launched and quickly arrived on scene to find the 75ft - 35,000kg Sunseeker Predator hard aground at Moelfre’s former historic lifeboat station known locally as Porth Neigwl.

Moelfre’s Y-boat daughter craft was deployed with 2 crew and assessed the situation on board the casualty vessel. The owner along with 2 other persons on-board confirmed the vessel was taking on water and had lost all engine and electrical power as the engine-room was completely flooded. As the emergency salvage pumps were prepared a towline was quickly established by the lifeboat's volunteer crew and the vessel was safely pulled clear of the rocks.

Once in a safe position and deeper water it was apparent the vessel was at considerable risk of sinking as the pumps were struggling to cope with the water ingress, so the three occupants were evacuated to safety whilst crew members continued to battle to keep the luxury vessel afloat. It was decided that the vessel had sustained too much damage to be towed any considerable distance and too large to be lifted anywhere locally so a decision was made to beach the vessel in Beaumaris, where salvage experts could gain safe access to her.

Once under tow, Beaumaris lifeboat arrived on scene with an additional salvage pump. With the extra pumps on-board the water level began to drop and it was established that the water ingress was through the stern of the vessel in the engine compartment. Llandudno’s new Shannon Class lifeboat on passage to Conwy also assisted and provided a 3rd pump. The new all-weather lifeboat and her crew from Llandudno stood by while Beaumaris Lifeboat responded to another, separate incident. The vessel was safely manoeuvred alongside Beaumaris pier for salvage experts to assess, but once forward motion of the tow stopped the vessel began to take on water beyond control of the pumps and started to sink once again. All lines were quickly released and the vessel was beached safely.

Duty lifeboat coxswain Nigel Garner said,

‘Today's rescue was challenging for all involved, but thankfully had the best possible outcome given the circumstances. Undoubtedly, without the swift response of the RNLI’s various rescue assets and quick thinking of the crew involved the vessel would have been un-recoverable. The occupants had the appropriate safety equipment and were all wearing lifejackets.’

This was a fantastic multi-agency rescue involving three RNLI crews from Moelfre, Beaumaris and Llandudno as well as local Coastguard rescue teams from Moelfre and Penmon, who also provided vital assistance ashore. All occupants of the vessel were rescued safe and well, and the vessel undoubtedly saved preventing any environmental risk or navigational risk to other vessels
Tamar lifeboat arrives on scene with motor yacht

RNLI Moelfre

Moelfre Lifeboat with sinking Vessel
Tamar lifeboat transfering tow

RNLI Moelfre

Moelfre lifeboat passing towline
Super yacht aground on rocks

RNLI Moelfre

Super Yacht aground prior to lifeboat arrival

RNLI/Vince Jones

Y-Boat and crew assessing damage

RNLI/Vince Jones

RNLI Crew setting up Tow

RNLI Moelfre

vessel towed stern first from the rocks

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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