Newcastle Lifeboat Launches To Save Pleasure Craft

All weather lifeboat launched to save stricken pleasure craft

Newcastle’s all weather lifeboat, the Leonard Kent, was launched during the annual Blessing of the Sea service at Newcastle Lifeboat station to a stricken 56-feet pleasure craft.

At 10.00am on 18 May 2024, many of Newcastle lifeboat stations volunteer crew attended the Blessing of the Sea ceremony at the lifeboat station. 

At approximately 10.30am the pagers sounded and the volunteer crew, who had just started to sing the first hymn of the service, were requested to launch the all weather lifeboat to aid the crew onboard a 56-foot pleasure craft.

The vessel was approximately 10 miles south-east of Newcastle, which had lost power and was drifting.

The Newcastle RNLI all-weather lifeboat Leonard Kent.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a slight Force 3 to 4 northerly wind and calm seas.

On arrival at the scene the volunteer crew established the vessel had suffered a dual engine failure whilst on passage from Kilmore.  There were 5 persons on board, none of whom were injured.

An RNLI volunteer crew member got one of the engines running again which allowed the vessel to make its way, under its own power, to Ardglass harbour, escorted by the all weather lifeboat.

Speaking following the call out, Coxswain Gerry McConkey said: ‘The crew of the casualty vessel did exactly the right thing in using the onboard radio to summons help.

“And with the volunteer crew being at the Blessing of the Sea service, we managed to launch quickly and the fair weather allowed for a short passage to the scene. 

“We then escorted the casualty vessel and it’s crew into Ardglass harbour where we explained why the crew was looking particularly smart in shirts and ties underneath the RNLI kit!

“The all weather lifeboat returned to Newcastle lifeboat station where it was made ready for the next call out.”