Yacht rescue undertaken in worst conditions coxswain has seen in 21 years

Exmouth’s volunteer lifeboat crew went to the aid of a disabled yacht yesterday afternoon (September 20), towing the vessel to Torbay in sea conditions the coxswain says he has not encountered in 21 years.

Exmouth RNLI All Weather Lifeboat, R and J Welburn, was launched following a distress call made at around 3pm.

The yacht was stranded approximately 14 miles off Lyme Bay. They reported failed steering gear.

The lifeboat launched at 3:40pm and ‘immediately went to the aid of the vessel’.

A spokesperson for Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat said: “On their arrival with the disabled vessel the volunteer crew, led by Coxswain Roger Jackson, effected a tow under extremely difficult sea conditions.

“Due to the severe sea and tide state, it was not considered safe to recover the yacht to Exmouth and the vessel was escorted into Torbay with the assistance of Torbay RNLI All Weather Lifeboat, Alec and Christina Dykes, and safety.

“The individual on board the yacht was uninjured and the vessel did not sustain any damage.”

Coxswain Roger Jackson added: “This was an extremely difficult rescue and we were operating in very challenging conditions with high winds and rough seas – the worst I have known in 21 years as a volunteer.

“Our crew, and that of Torbay RNLI were, as always, very professional throughout and carried out the rescue safely despite the hazardous conditions they had to work in.”

The incident was concluded at 9:48pm and the All Weather Lifeboat was back on station and ready for service at 10:33pm.

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