At 2.15pm on Thursday 17 August, Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat Rose of the Shires launched to the rescue of a 30 foot yacht “The Valkyrie” that had broken down and was drifting close to Scarweather Sand Bank in big seas, 7 miles south east of Porthcawl.
The Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat launched in rough seas with winds gusting Force 6 and 7-8 foot waves, with 4 volunteer crew. Helmsman Chris Missen said “progress was difficult, as the sea was very rough, and we did not have an accurate position for the casualty. We made contact with the Porthcawl Coast Watch who could see the casualty from their base in Porthcawl, and they assisted in guiding us onto the vessel. When we got to the casualty, we needed to act quickly, as the yacht was drifting very close towards the sand banks.”
Once alongside the yacht which was rolling in the rough sea, 2 lifeboat crewmen were placed on board, and a tow was secured, in order to pull the vessel away from the dangerous Scarweather sand bank, which was only half a mile away.
Once the yacht was towed to a safe position away from the Scarweather sand bank, the Mumbles All Weather Lifeboat took over the tow, and towed the yacht to Swansea marina.
The Porthcawl Deputy Launching Authority Mrs Aileen Jones MBE said “this was a fantastic rescue in rough weather, and due to the excellent seamanship of the lifeboat crew, the yacht and its crew were safely towed to safely. If the distress call had not been put out when they did, there was a possibility that the yacht could have been blown onto the sand bank at Scarweather.”
Press release from Carl Evans, Lifeboat Press Officer, Porthcawl RNLI