Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Boaters urged to carry distress flares


Following three call-outs over three days in September, an RNLI helmsman says it is important for boaters to be equipped with distress flares to call for help.

The first call came when the crew of Holyhead all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce was called to a single-crewed yacht in trouble in the Irish Sea. A rope had caught in its propeller. This meant the craft was drifting in the winds and tides towards the busy shipping lanes. The yacht was safely towed back to Holyhead Marina.

The following day, the all-weather lifeboat headed 30 miles out to sea to rescue a yacht with a smoking engine. It safely towed it back to Holyhead.

Boat without power

On the third day, the inshore lifeboat was launched to help two people. They were on board a 16ft Seahog sailing boat that has lost power and was drifting near rocks off Sandy Beach. They were rescued and taken back to Bolsach.

The coastguard then asked the crew to assess a lone RIB drifting out to sea. It was towed to the station slipway where the owner claimed was located.

Helm Dave Roberts says, “With regard to the first shout, after the loss of their engine power, the two occupants had drifted out with the tide very quickly. It may have seemed calm in the shelter of the harbour, but that can be very deceiving. Luckily, they had a means of contacting the coastguard for assistance.

“We’d always strongly advise the wearing of suitable lifejackets at all times while on the water, as things can change in a split second. As well as a means of calling for help, it’s also important to be well-equipped with distress flares.”

The image of the Holyhead Inshore Lifeboat crew returning from their last call is credit of RNLI/Vicki Owens.

Read about another rescue in Wales involving flares.

Sep 10, 2020