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19 HOURS AT SEA FOR YARMOUTH RNLI OVER CHRISTMAS PERIOD

With 3 shouts over 3 days, the volunteer crew of the Yarmouth RNLI All Weather Lifeboat spent over 19 hours out on the water during the Christmas period.

The crew’s pagers first went off at 20:21 on Boxing Day when they were tasked by Solent Coastguard with relieving Bembridge RNLI from their day watch over the Russian cargo ship ‘Mekhanik Yartsev’ and her crew of 13. The 279ft vessel was anchored off Lee-on-Solent and heavily listing due to her cargo having shifted in rough seas.

Yarmouth’s Severn-class lifeboat stood by all night in stormy conditions and was then herself relieved by Bembridge’s Tamar-class lifeboat in the morning, returning to station in Yarmouth Harbour by 07:35.

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The second shout came at 08:41 yesterday (Thursday) when Yarmouth Lifeboat was requested to launch in order to escort the still-listing Mechanik Yartsev into Southampton Harbour.

Whilst returning to station from Southampton, Yarmouth Lifeboat was contacted a third time by the Coastguard – this time at approximately 14:45 – and asked to go to the immediate assistance of a motorboat, which was experiencing mechanical failure.

The powerless motorboat, a 17ft Bayliner with 2 people on board, was located 2.5 miles south east of the Needles thanks to the assistance of The Needles Coastwatch Station. Whilst the lifeboat raced to the scene, assistance was offered to the stricken vessel by Mr Gareth Davies who was already close by in his motor launch Bear. Mr Davies then stood by until the lifeboat arrived and a tow was established. The Bayliner was towed back to Yarmouth and the lifeboat was back at station by approximately 16:30.

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