RNLI rescue lone sailor on stricken yacht

Volunteers from Portaferry RNLI to go to the aid of a man on board an 18-foot yacht experiencing serious problems off the County Down coast today.
Volunteers from Portaferry RNLI to go to the aid of a man on board an 18-foot yacht experiencing serious problems off the County Down coast today.

Portaferry RNLI has rescued a man on board an 18-foot yacht who was experiencing serious problems off the County Down coast.

The man was two miles from the entrance to Strangford Lough when he started to get into difficulty.

Simon Rogers, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “Our volunteer crew faced challenging conditions during this rescue, encountering extremely rough sea conditions. The man on board the casualty vessel did the right thing calling for help before things got out of hand.

“We would like to stress at this time, when more and more boats are returning to the water, that everyone planning any sea trip take all necessary precautions.”

The volunteer crew launched at 2.33pm in cloudy conditions, with good visibility and a force 4 to 5 easterly wind.

Sea conditions at the time of launch were moderate, but when the RNLI crew arrived on scene at 2.50pm they were met by very rough seas and large swells.

Having assessed the situation, the Portaferry RNLI lifeboat deemed that it was too dangerous to try to tow the stricken yacht, due to the extremely challenging conditions.

Instead, a volunteer crew member from the Portaferry RNLI was put on board the casualty vessel to help sail it into Ardglass Harbour.

The Portaferry Lifeboat then escorted the casualty vessel to the safety of the pontoons at Ardglass Harbour and into the hands of the Newcastle Coastguard team, which had been standing by to offer assistance.