Moelfre’s volunteer crew were paged last night (27/08/2021) to reports of a broken-down fishing vessel and in danger of drifting onto rocks under the cliffs at Bull Bay.
The RNLI volunteer crew were tasked at 18:50 and assembled at the lifeboat station, further information was received that the casualty, an 18ft fishing boat was drifting onto the rocks a hundred meters to the Northeast of ‘Y Crochan’ a prominent rock out crop near Bull Bay after sustaining machinery failure. The owner had managed to deploy his anchor, but the vessel was only meters away from hitting the rocks at the base of the cliff.
The RNLI all-weather lifeboat Kiwi was on the water and under way within 10 minutes and made best speed to the north, during which time RNLI crew members Mike Hughes-Roberts and Rob Jeffrey prepared the Lifeboats Y-class daughter craft for deployment. Once on scene Cemaes Bay Coastguard team monitored the situation ashore, as the Y-boat and its crew were deployed. As time was of the essence, the remaining crew prepared the tow lines for a bow tow/ recovery due to the nature and proximity to the base of the cliffs.
The casualty vessel was less than 5 meters away from the rocks and with a swell caused by the North Easterly winds its anchor warp was being put under strain and it was feared it could fail. As the Y-Boat approached the casualty, the Lifeboats bow was positioned within throwing distance ready to pass the bow tow if required.
RNLI volunteer Y-Boat helm Mike Hughes-Roberts manoeuvred alongside and passed a rope to the bow of the vessel. Once secure, the Y-Boat quickly pulled the vessel out and away from the rocks into clear water. The owner stated he had launched from the Bull Bay Slipway, so due to the short distance and falling tide it was agreed that the Y-Boat would complete the short Tow to the slip and awaiting Coastguard Team members. Once secure on the beach, the Y-boat was recovered, and the crew returned to Moelfre and rehoused at 20:20.
Relief Coxswain Martin Jones (Rhyl) said:
“This was a time critical rescue; the vessel was only minutes away from hitting the rocks and who knows what would have happened. The owner did the right thing in asking for help at the earliest opportunity. The crew did a fantastic job, not only did they get the Y-boat launched and underway in seconds, but they also simultaneously worked in getting the bow tow ready in case anything went wrong. The swift actions of the owner in deploying his anchor ultimately saved the vessel and his crew. We urge anyone taking to the sea this weekend on boats or any other type of watercraft to please make sure you have the correct and appropriate equipment and means for calling for help, we also pass our thanks on to Holyhead and Cemaes Coastguard for coordinating the rescue”
Video and Images: RNLI and RNLI supporter Gwynfor Jones