Author: Steve Atkinson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
A Hungarian yachtsman ran aground off Flimby in Cumbria after running out of fuel on Thursday 22 September. A member of the public saw what was happening and called the coastguard who alerted the RNLI and Workington relief lifeboat The Lord Saltoun was launched in response to the call.
The 21 foot yacht was pitching badly in choppy seas and a brisk force 4 south westerly breeze. The sole occupant was feeling seasick and cold as he waited for help to arrive. The Workington RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched at 7.30pm and reached the Moondream fifteen minutes later.
A volunteer crew member from the lifeboat transferred to the yacht and a tow was arranged as darkness approached. Because the yacht had no steering, a drogue was deployed from the yacht to hold it in line with the lifeboat.
With the yacht in tow, the lifeboat returned to Workington where the yachtsman was given a warm up and a cup of tea in the lifeboat station, before being returned to his yacht, now safely in the yacht harbour.
John Stobbart, RNLI Coxswain for Workington lifeboat, said: ‘The gentleman aboard the yacht, had no VHF radio, or phone. Thanks to the vigilance of the public in making the 999 call to the Coastguard, the Workington RNLI lifeboat was able to respond. A text book rescue took place with no harm to anyone and little damage to the vessel, however it could so nearly have been a different story.’