Porthcawl RNLI was called to provide assistance to a yacht that had made a passage from Monkstone Marina on the River Neath to Porthcawl’s new Marina on Boxing Day. The yacht had just made the voyage safely through a moderate to rough sea when the engines failed as it approached the marina.
The crew on board were able to secure the yacht on a mooring buoy within the shelter of Porthcawl breakwater but outside of the marina.
With a falling tide and storms forecast for the following day it was vital that the yacht was found a safe haven.
The crew on board the yacht realised the full extent of their situation and that immediate repairs were not possible, they radioed Swansea Coastguard and asked for assistance. The lifeboat crew were then paged at 12:25pm to launch and assist.
Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat manager Philip Missen MBE was on scene at the time and saw the situation first hand, he said ‘once it was established the yacht had no power to make its own way into the marina I considered the alternatives. First was a tow into the marina but that is not fully operational yet; or there was the other option of towing back to Monkstone and this would have been very rough and difficult for both crews. We were lucky that a member of the harbour master staff was on duty and following several attempts was able to open the gates at the mouth of the new marina’.
Helmsman on the lifeboat Chris Missen said, ‘with the yacht only about 100 metres from our slipway we were able to establish a tow within a few minutes. Once safely in the marina the yacht was moored alongside a pontoon. This was our first experience of towing a vessel into the new marina and I’m sure it won’t be our last. Thankfully this was a relatively easy recovery and we were happy that the vessel was moored safely considering the forecast and the sea conditions over the festive period’.