UK: Storm rescues for boat owners
A major Atlantic storm has struck parts of England and Wales leaving three people dead and a trail of devastation in its wake. As reported by Practical Boat Owner.
Published 9 years ago, updated 4 years ago
Several sailors were rescued in the build-up to the St Jude’s Storm, which battered boats along the southern regions of the United Kingdom.
Flights, train and ferry services were cancelled as gale-force winds and heavy rain swept through overnight and into this morning, leaving thousands of homes without power.
Cruise passengers’ cars were damaged when ‘severe seas and 70mph winds’ hit the Port of Dover.
The Met Office recorded a maximum wind gust of 99mph at 6 am at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight.
Three people have been reported dead: a teenager in Kent and a man in Watford were killed by falling trees, another man was found dead in a collapsed house in west London after a falling tree caused a suspected gas explosion.
A teenager is also feared dead after being swept out to sea while swimming off Newhaven’s West Beach, yesterday afternoon.
Weather warnings were issued by the Met Office ahead of the storm’s arrival and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) called for boat owners to secure their vessels and then ‘stay away from the sea.’
But for some, last-minute preparations resulted in rescues.
Yesterday morning, Poole all-weather lifeboat was tasked to assist two people on an eight-metre yacht, who had got into difficulty while securing the cruiser’s lines in Poole Harbour.
As they prepared for the imminent storms, the yacht slipped its mooring and drifted into Whitley Lake, on the northeastern corner of Poole Harbour.
The lifeboat crew found the vessel heeled over in a precarious position and aground. The lifeboat crew attached a line to the yacht but could not get alongside in the shallow water. The inshore lifeboat attended and helped to get the vessel afloat and upright.
The yacht was returned to its mooring and made secure.
RNLI volunteer deputy coxswain Glen Mallen said: ‘With conditions worsening, the vessel would have not weathered the storm, it was a challenge to get it upright with the conditions out in the Harbour, but a job well is done.’
Marooned as the storm approached
The Dart D Class lifeboat also rescued two yachtsmen trapped on their yacht as a storm approached.
The two sailors were marooned on their 28ft Falmouth workboat, moored above Dittisham on the River Dart. They had gone to check the yacht in their small inflatable tender with an outboard. By the time they had finished the weather conditions had deteriorated and with a severe storm approaching, they requested help.
They were taken on board the lifeboat and taken in near gale conditions, with their tender, to Dittisham.
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