RNLI called in after rough conditions capsized dinghies

Eleven teenagers had to be rescued during a training session when gale force winds capsized their dinghies.

The children, aged between 13 and 16, were training with Sunderland Yacht Club when they got into trouble. The club launched their own safety boats to rescue the teenagers, but the rough seas made it too difficult and they had to call for help.

Sunderland RNLI launched both inshore lifeboats and took just half an hour to return the 11 teenagers and their dinghies back to shore.

Watch a video of the rescue online

Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “After launching we immediately made contact with the yacht club’s safety boat crews to establish the whereabouts of each of the dinghies. It was quickly confirmed that all dinghies were accounted for, but some needed assisting to the shore due to the poor weather conditions.”

One teen was transferred to the lifeboat after complaining of pains in her shoulder. She was given a full check-up at the lifeboat station and allowed home without further medical attention.

“We regularly work with the yacht club to make sure we can work hand-in-hand with their own safety boat crews should an incident like this happen,” added Mr Nicholson. “This meant that what could have been a very difficult incident to deal with went like clockwork. It is important for all sailing clubs to have well-practised emergency plans to ensure that any escalating incident can be dealt with effectively.”