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Barrow Lifeboats Launch to Assist Yacht near Foulney Island

Volunteer crew from Barrow’s Lifeboat Station launched both their lifeboats yesterday afternoon to go to the aid of a yacht which had run aground after breaking free from its mooring.

The call for assistance came from the regional HM Coastguard base in Holyhead at 12-50pm yesterday afternoon (Friday 21st August) following a call from a RNLI volunteer at Roa Island who had observed that the yacht was in difficulty close to Foulney breakwater.

The crew was paged and the inshore lifeboat, ‘Vision of Tamworth’, was launched at 1-15pm with Andy Baxter at the helm, assisted by Phil Taylor and Mike Harris. The lifeboat was quickly on the scene and was able to take the 8.5 metre yacht under tow. However, in the near gale force conditions, it was decided that the all-weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, needed to be launched so that it could take over the tow once the casualty vessel was in deeper water. The ‘Grace Dixon’ was launched at 1-35pm under the command of Coxswain, Shaun Charnley, assisted by five crew. As the incident was close to the lifeboat station, the ‘Grace Dixon’ was able to relieve the inshore lifeboat of the tow within a few minutes of launching.

The yacht was towed to the Roa Island Boat Club where it was placed safely on a mooring. The one person on board the yacht was uninjured.

On completion of a call-out the lifeboats are normally recovered to the boathouse and made ready for the next launch. However, due to the near gale force winds and sea swell, this wasn’t possible, and the lifeboats were forced to wait on a mooring until conditions improved.

The weather at the time of the incident was overcast with squally showers. The wind was south-westerly, Force 7-8, with the high tide occurring at 1-55pm with a predicted height of 9.5 metres. The effect of those strong south-westerly winds increased the actual tide height by almost a metre.

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