56-foot yacht towed to safety in force eight winds and heavy seas

The swift and decisive actions of Dover RNLI were applauded yesterday for being responsible in rescuing a stranded barge in the face of force 8 winds.

The boat had been taking on water, and lacked VHF radio communications when the Dover coastguard alerted the RNLI after the vessel had failed to progress towards the intended destination of South Goodwin Sands.

Stuart Richardson, the coxswain of the barge had set off with five other crew at 13.23, although the lack of a working radio onboard meant that there was no communication from the casualty vessel until the lifeboat came in close proximity.

When the RNLI began to undertake the rescue, it was discovered that the coolant pipe for the engine had split and since the vessel had failed to make further headway, it was taken undertow by the RNLI. As the lifeboat made its way back to Dover, it emerged that only one lifejacket was available between the five crew, although all five fortunately arrived back in Dover shortly before 16.00 hours.

The coxswain later stressed the importancy of having the correct equipment on board, and praised the heroic actions of the RNLI ,saying “I would advise anyone undertaking such a journey to have the correct equipment on board and ensure that each crew member has their own lifejacket. If the RNLI hadn’t come to its rescue the end result could have been a lot different”.

Watch footage of the rescue below