Larne RNLI volunteers assist two people on yacht caught in lobster pots

For a second night in a row, Larne RNLI’s volunteers have left their beds to go the aid of a vessel’s crew in need of assistance, this time two people on a yacht that got into difficulty northeast of Larne.
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The crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 4.40am today (Thursday) following a report that an 11m yacht with two onboard had fouled its propeller on a rope and was stuck fast and unable to make headway, 10 nautical miles east of Larne. The yacht’s crew were on passage from Oban to Bangor when they encountered problems.

The lifeboat launched and made its way to the scene. Weather conditions at the time were good with a calm sea and Force 2-3 winds.

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Following an initial visual assessment, it became clear to the lifeboat crew that the yacht was caught on a string of lobster pots. A decision was made to put two crew members onboard who began to work to free the yacht, but this proved a challenging task as some of it was wrapped around the port side propeller.

Dr John McSparran.Dr John McSparran.
Dr John McSparran.

With one engine still working, a decision was then made for the vessel to make its way into Larne for further inspection under the escort of the all-weather lifeboat with two lifeboat crew remaining onboard. The passage took an hour and 45 minutes when the vessel was then safely secured and moored up at East Antrim Boat Club.

Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: “It’s unusual for us to be called out in the early hours of the morning two nights in a row but that is the nature of our role as volunteer crew, and we were happy to help.

“We would remind all sailors to always go prepared for every eventuality. Always wear a lifejacket on deck and a harness where appropriate. Always carry a means of calling for help.

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Larne RNLI rescues man from stricken Bangor-bound yacht in early morning emergen...
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"Always check the weather forecast and tide times, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back and ensure your engine is well maintained. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.”