Stricken yacht refloated after getting stuck on sandbank

Monday 16th August 2021 7:53 am
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Crew members walking towards the yacht; inset, the stricken yacht

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A 30-foot yacht ran aground in the mouth of the Porthmadog Channel on Friday.

Criccieth RNLI had been called at around 2.30pm after the skipper reported being stuck on the sandbank, but the yacht was expected to be able to refloat later in the evening on an incoming tide. Following further conversations, however, between the skipper, HM Coastguard and the station, it was agreed that crew members would visit the yacht’s location at 6.30pm in their 4x4, accompanied by a smaller inshore lifeboat.

Having accessed the location via Black Rock Sands, it become apparent that the crew could walk to the yacht, due to its location on the sandbank.

Following a welfare check on the skipper and an assessment of the location it was confirmed that the station’s larger Atlantic 85-class Lifeboat, Doris Joan, would need to launch later that evening to assist as the weather wasn’t forecast to improve and high tide would coincide with darkness falling.

A crew member stayed with the yacht to make necessary preparations ahead of high tide and to make sure clear communications were maintained.

At 8.40pm, the station launched Doris Joan which made its way through rough seas towards the yacht, which was still hard aground and several metres from the channel.

The lifeboat stood by as the tide eventually refloated the yacht, which was being battered by large, breaking waves.

A second crew member went aboard the vessel to assist with recovering the anchor.

Once afloat, the yacht was piloted into Porthmadog harbour by a crew member, escorted by the lifeboat.

Once the yacht was placed safely upon its mooring, both crew members disembarked.

The lifeboat returned to Criccieth through heavy seas and by 12.45am was refuelled and ready for service.

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