View as PDF

Three RNLI lifeboats help rescue yacht and crew lost in mist off North Wales.

Lifeboats News Release

The initial call for assistance was picked up on radio by the UK Coastguard Co-ordinating centre in Holyhead. Once a rough position was established, Rhyl's All-weather Mersey-class lifeboat crew were paged to locate the vessel.

Rhyl lifeboat towing yacht towards Conwy

RNLI/Paul Frost

Rhyl AWB towing casualty 24 January 2019
The boat and crew were on passage from Conway marina to Liverpool when they were becalmed in thick dense mist off the Gwynt-Y-Mor windfarm, with engine failure at about 8.30am on Sunday 24 February 24. The Rhyl lifeboat crew was launched some 15 minutes later, and managed to locate the vessel by direction-finding the signal from their radio. Visibility was less than 50 metres on scene. The crew on board were well, but were not sure of their location, and so a tow was undertaken towards Liverpool, their destination.

The Coxswain decided that the flank station at Hoylake would be more suitable to take the yacht into the river Mersey and so the UK Coastguard were asked to page RNLI Hoylake lifeboat station. Hoylake launched their Shannon-class All-weather lifeboat at 10:30am and proceeded to the rendezvous. Some 15 minutes later the UK Coastguard received a message from the Mersey Harbour Control Authority refusing permission to enter the busy shipping channel in such poor visibility.

In consultation with UK Coastguard,the decision was therefore made to turn back towards Llandudno and Conwy marina, where the crew had set off from. Hoylake lifeboat was therefore stood down and returned to station.

The tow then proceeded towards Llandudno, and again, the decision was made to ask the flank station at Llandudno to launch their Shannon-class lifeboat, to tow the yacht back to Conwy marina. The tow was transferred off the Rhyl Flats windfarm, and Rhyl lifeboat then returned to station at 1.45pm. Llandudno lifeboat then towed the yacht into Conwy marina, estimated arrival at approximately 3.00pm. At the time of writing, Llandudno is still at sea.
This was the first time that crew member Mark Waterworth had been on a 'shout' with the Rhyl all-weather lifeboat. The pictures show Llandudno lifeboat taking over the tow of the yacht off Abergele.
Llandudno lifeboat about to take oover tow of yacht from Rhyl lifeboat

RNLI/Paul Frost

Llandudno lifeboat from Rhyl lifeboat 24 February 2019
Llandudno lifeboat about to take over tow of yacht from Rhyl Lifeboat. David clark (L) and Mark Waterworth (R)

RNLI/Paul Frost

Llandudno lifeboat and yacht 24 February 2019
Track of Rhyl lifeboat on service 24 February 2019

RNLI/Paul Frost

Track of Rhyl lifeboat on service 24 February 2019
Track of Hoylake lifeboat on service to yacht 24 February 2019

RNLI/Paul Frost

Track of Hoylake lifeboat on service to yacht 24 February 2019
Track of Llandudno lifeboat sevice to yacht 24 February 2019. Final track to Conway.

RNLI/Paul Frost

Track of Llandudno lifeboat sevice to yacht 24 February 2019

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.