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MOELFRE all-weather lifeboat and volunteer crew launch in gale-force winds to rescue a stricken yacht, 20 miles north of Moelfre Tuesday (August 4).

The request to launch came from Holyhead coastguard after they received a Mayday call from a 13-metre yacht. The yacht (on passage from Stranraer to Port Dinorwic) suffered engine failure and was struggling to make headway, with the adverse weather conditions.

The RNLI all-weather lifeboat Kiwi was on the water within 15 minutes and made the best speed in the challenging sea conditions, with wind speeds gusting over 57 knots (Force 11). A passing 150-metre merchant container vessel offered to provide shelter to the disabled yacht, but due to the erratic drift of the vessel and awful sea conditions, it had to withdraw as there were concerns that both vessels would collide.

Once on scene, approximately 50 minutes after launch, the lifeboat was manoeuvred so a tow could be passed to the crew of the disabled and drifting vessel. The tow was eventually secured and the RNLI lifeboat ensured the crew were safe.

They then commenced the slow, arduous task of towing the casualty vessel 20 miles south, towards our boathouse in Moelfre. In what can only be described as horrendous sea conditions, the lifeboat could only tow at speeds of between 2-3 knots. This was not only for crew safety, but also to prevent damage to the towline, or to either vessel.

After several hours at sea, the lifeboat arrived back at Moelfre, where the vessel was secured to the RNLI emergency lifeboat mooring. After over 9 hours at sea, battling the challenging conditions, the all-weather lifeboat rehoused and made ready for her next call to service

The lifeboat station would like to thank the skipper of the yacht for his professionalism throughout. They would also like to extend thanks to the partners and family of the volunteer crew and shore crew, who anxiously waited for their loved ones to safely return.

Thanks to Phil Williams, Moelfre Lifeboat Press Officer

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