Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Flares used in 10-hour RNLI rescue operation


Flares have helped rescuers end a 10-hour search and recover two vessels in the north of England.

RNLI Skegness was initially asked to help locate a drifting yacht early one morning in November 2017 and was then also asked to aid a stricken motor boat.

The six-man team of the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Joel and April Grunnill were asked by UK Coastguard at Humber to tow to safety the six-metre yacht (SV Daisy) which has run out of fuel in the lower wash.

Using the last-known co-ordinates, the volunteer crew searched in Long Sands. But whilst en route, the coastguard said the motor boat (MV Belle) that had been trying to locate the first vessel, was also in difficulty.

Once on scene, the crew fired two white para flares, used to illuminate large areas of sea to provide a brilliant white light.

Upon seeing the flares, Daisy flashed a light and the crew skilfully manoeuvred the lifeboat carefully toward the yacht, which was in anchor in 80cm of water, aground on the Long Sands.

They got close enough to allow the two crew of the yacht to come aboard. The lifeboat then moved out to deeper water and searched for the Belle, which it spotted by a wind farm cable guard vessel (Channel Chieftain 7). Its crew were also taken on board the all-weather lifeboat.

Crew from RNLI Hunstanton, aboard the station’s relief B class Atlantic lifeboat Irene Cornford, was launched to assist in the recovery of the two vessels.

Once on the scene, the Hunstanton crew towed the original yacht alongside and the Skegness crew towed the motor vessel behind.

All four made their way south to the port of Boston, where both casualty boats were moored up and the respective lifeboats returned to station.

The picture of MV Bell being towed to port of Boston is credit of the RNLI/Tony Kelly.

Nov 23, 2017