Yacht Crew Rescued By Portaferry RNLI At Strangford Bar

Portaferry RNLI volunteer crew assist two people onboard 35ft yacht

HM Coastguard requested the launch of Portaferry RNLI inshore lifeboat on Friday evening (24th May) at 6.17pm to assist a 35-feet yacht which was making slow progress after having suffered engine failure eight miles to the north-east of Strangford Bar.

As friends and family arrived at Portaferry Lifeboat Station to dedicate a bench to the memory of former crew member Billy Ellison, the lifeboat launched with Helm Chris Adair and volunteer Crew Members Scott Blackwood, Oliver Rogers and Gary Meehan onboard.

Conditions at the time were a Force 3 – 4 southerly light breeze, slightly choppy, and good visibility.

Once on the scene, both members of the yacht’s crew and their dog, were observed to be safe and well.

After an assessment of the situation the yacht crew were happy and able to hoist their mainsail and make their own way to the safety of Ardglass Marina.

The Portaferry lifeboat launches to aid a yacht in difficulties at the Strangford Bar.

Portaferry lifeboat returned to the station at 7.30pm and after washing and refuelling the boat, the crew enjoyed refreshments with the Ellison family and past Portaferry RNLI lifeboat crew members. Comments were made that perhaps Billy Ellison waslooking on.

Then again at 8.30pm the Coastguard contacted Portaferry Lifeboat Operations Manager, Heather Kennedy to reports that the yacht was now 1.5 miles out of Ardglass but needed assistance to negotiate the entrance to the marina.

With no other vessel available to assist, the lifeboat crew readied themselves and launched immediately.

Once on scene, a tow was established ensuring the yacht could safely enter the marina where it was met by Newcastle Coastguard.

Heather said: “We commend the crew onboard the yacht for raising the alarm when their engine failed. This is always the correct thing to do and a situation can quickly change and greater risks may arise.”

The RNLI would remind all boat owners to always

  • check their vessel’s engine to ensure they are ready for summer.
  • check the weather and tides before venturing out.
  • wear a lifejacket or suitable personal flotation device for your activity
  • carry a means of calling for help.
  • And should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.