THE volunteer crew of Rhyl’s Shannon-class lifeboat were paged at 11.20 am on Saturday (Jan 25), to search for an unmanned 34-foot yacht off Prestatyn. Rhyl coastguard team were also paged to monitor shore-side.
The owner of the vessel, a 34-foot motor yacht ‘Miss Moneypenny’ was on passage from Liverpool to Llannerch-Y-Mor fun ship some time before Saturday morning, but had encountered engine problems off Prestatyn Barkby beach. He had anchored his fin-keel yacht off the shore and had come ashore on the yacht’s tender (dinghy). This morning, the skipper had attempted to get assistance from other means, and was returning to his yacht when the tender’s engine also failed, stranding the owner ashore. Concerned members of Prestatyn Sailing Club notified the UK coastguard at Holyhead, who called for vessels in the vicinity to help. The skipper of the Rhyl charter fishing vessel ‘Merlin’, Roger Daniels, was in the area, and located the position of the yacht, relaying this to the Coastguard. Rhyl’s all-weather lifeboat ‘ Anthony Kenneth Heard’ was paged and the lifeboat launched and proceeded at full speed to the yacht’s position, arriving some 12 minutes after launch. The vessel was safely taken under tow, with two lifeboat crew on board the yacht to manage the tow. The Coxswain of the lifeboat initially thought about taking the yacht to Rhyl, but as the vessel had a large fin-keel below, it was decided a mooring in Mostyn harbour would be appropriate. The skipper of the yacht was located by local Rhyl coastguards at Prestatyn, and taken to Mostyn Harbour to meet up with his vessel. This was done successfully, and the lifeboat returned to station at 3.15 pm.
Martin Jones, Rhyl RNLI coxswain said ‘ With our new boat, we were able to be on scene in half the time the old lifeboat would have taken, and in better condition due to the safer handling. The lifeboat performed very well, and it is the first time we have towed a vessel. The lifeboat proved beyond doubt the capabilities required, and it handled the job with ease’.
He continued ‘ we would like to thank both Prestatyn Sailing Club, and the skipper of the fishing boat ‘Merlin’ who greatly assisted the location of the yacht in the busy shipping channel used by very fast vessels servicing the offshore wind farms’.
Photographs include those taken from the shore by Rhyl Coastguard volunteers, and on-board by the lifeboat crew.