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Seaman rescued from sinking yacht in Holyhead harbour

27 April 2012

A BRAVE seaman and two lifeboatmen were rescued from a sinking yacht after gale force winds had ripped it from its mooring, reported yesterday by the daily post UK.

yacht_sunk_holyhead_harbour_april_2012
This yacht sunk in Holyhead Harbour after gale-force winds ripped it from its mooring

The 38ft yacht was being smashed about in 50mph winds and waves in Holyhead harbour after coming free from a mooring and striking the marina’s pontoon bridge.

A crew on a local working boat saw the yacht in trouble and came to its aid with one of the men jumping aboard in a plucky attempt to return the vessel to a safe position.

The Holyhead RNLI crew then launched and came alongside the boat, which was around 200 yards from the safety of the nearest jetty.

They took the seaman off the yacht before placing two volunteer crew members onboard with a pump.

Fighting against the horrific conditions the boat was taken close to a nearby jetty before the crew had to make an emergency exit as the vessel sank.

Holyhead RNLI spokesman Ray Steadman said: “The conditions were horrendous and this has seen the boat torn from its mooring. The wind was gusting Force 10.

“A crew on a local working boat saw the yacht and bravely went to see what they could do. One of the crew got on the vessel to try and help control it.

“At this point it became a risk to life issue and the RNLI crew were called out by Holyhead coastguard station.

“We took the all-weather boat alongside the yacht, which was badly damaged after it had hit the pontoon bridge by the marina.

“We first took the man off the boat and into the lifeboat. Two of our crew then went aboard with a pump, it was very difficult because the winds were so strong.

“They attempted to pump water from the vessel but the boat was badly damaged and the pump was not working effectively.

“It reached a point when it was clear the boat was going to sink and we had to get the two crew off very quickly, the boat then went down.”

He added: “Some poor owner will now come and find his yacht on the seabed but at least the boat is close to the jetty.”

Ed Hughes, from Holyhead Marina, said: “The boats in the marina were fine but this yacht nearly wrote off our pontoon bridge after coming off a mooring in the harbour.

“We could see it being knocked about and the wind blew it straight into the bridge, we were just lucky that it didn’t break it.”

The Met Office said that winds of 50mph were recorded at RAF Valley yesterday. The region escaped the worst of the rainfall that hit the UK with 0.2 inches over 10 hours at Capel Curig.

This compared with an inch in Gwent and 1.4 inches in Exeter, which triggered flood alerts in the South West of England. A weather warning was in place for today with the threat that heavy localised showers could cause flash floods.

WIND DAMAGE – PAGE 16d.