On the evening of Saturday 15 June, Porthcawl RNLI Atlantic 85 Lifeboat “Rose of the Shires” was launched to reports of a 30 foot steel hulled sailing yacht in difficulty off Newton, Porthcawl, and in danger of drifting onto the rocky point.
The RNLI Lifeboat launched at 8.30pm with four volunteer crew on board to a yacht drifting in rough seas and high winds off Newton Point. Once they reached the yacht, the Helmsman, Christopher “Bee” Missen put Crewmen Joe Missen and Alex Denny on board to assess the condition of the yachtsman and the boat.
The yachtsman was exhausted and had become overwhelmed by the conditions he was sailing in. Joe made the decision to get the yachtsman to the safety of the lifeboat.
When on the yacht, the RNLI volunteer crewmen found that the boat had taken on a lot of water and was in danger of sinking, so they used their salvage pump to pump out the water while the lifeboat towed the yacht into the safety of Porthcawl pier.
When in the shelter of the pier, Porthcawl’s D class lifeboat was also launched to assist in pumping the water out of the yacht and bringing the yachtsman ashore where he was taken to hospital and treated for a broken wrist.
As there was no secure mooring for the yacht, the Mumbles Tyne Class All Weather Lifeboat was launched to tow the yacht to Swansea Marina, however, as the conditions were very rough, it was decided to wait until the next morning to tow the boat to a safe mooring.
On Sunday 16 June, Porthcawl lifeboat towed the yacht to the River Afan, and assisted by Port Talbot Lifeboat put the yacht on a safe mooring up river.
Porthcawl RNLI Local Operations Manager, Phil Missen said “the rescue of this yachtsman and his boat was a success due to the keen observation of a person from Ogmore by Sea, who saw the boat drifting uncontrollably towards the Newton Point, and alerted the Coastguard.
“This rescue involved the movements of four RNLI lifeboats which are all crewed by volunteers, who do this in their own time for no payment. The sacrifice they give the sea going community is second to none. The team work between the different crews involved in the rescue was excellent as a result of the commitment and training they do every week.”