Guernsey Press

Lifeboat tows powerless 30ft yacht to safety

The first lifeboat ‘shout’ since Guernsey Coastguard returned to the harbour signal station has gone smoothly.

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The Spirit of Guernsey lifeboat was called to assist the 30ft sailing vessel which had suffered engine failure en route to Guernsey from Cherbourg. (Picture supplied by Tony Rive, 33314474)

A 30ft sailing vessel suffered engine failure while travelling from Cherbourg to Guernsey on Sunday evening.

It called for help from Guernsey Coastguard just after 8pm.

‘Although the vessel was still making way under sail and had managed to get to a position approximately 3.5 nautical miles to the north-east of Herm, the two persons on board had become exhausted and were unsure if they could make it to St Peter Port without assistance,’ coastguard spokesman said.

When no other boats responded to a call for assistance, the lifeboat was called out, arriving on scene at about 9pm.

It then tried to escort the vessel back to Guernsey.

‘Initial progress was good, but it soon became apparent that the sailing vessel was struggling against the increasing flood tide and therefore, an RNLI crew member was placed on board and a tow was quickly established,’ the spokesman said.

They arrived back in the harbour just after 10.30pm.

This was the first lifeboat call-out to be co-ordinated by Guernsey Coastguard, from its new home at the harbour signal station.

The Coastguard was originally based at the harbour, but was moved to the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre eight years ago.

Now the Coastguard is together with Guernsey Ports Vessel Traffic Services, creating a dedicated maritime operations centre in the newly-rebuilt signal station.