At 1300hr on Thursday 29 August 2013, a local passenger boat skipper informed Seahouses Lifeboat Coxswain that a yacht was aground and high and dry at the Bridges, a location at the Inner Farne Islands. He was concerned for the safety of the yacht when the tide rose, as it was lying hard over on its beam. RNLI personnel then had discussions with Humber Coastguard. No distress call had been made by the yacht.
Humber Coastguard were able to raise the yacht on VHF Ch 16. The skipper stated that he did not require assistance at this time. The yacht could be seen through binoculars from the Lifeboat Station so observations were kept on it by RNLI crew. Both Lifeboats were launching at 18.00hr that day on an RNLI Inspector’s exercise. During that exercise the lifeboat crews were able to assess the yacht’s situation, and returned to harbour at 20.00hr on completion of their exercise. The RNLI Crew had concerns that the yacht would not be able to extricate itself without assistance, due to the tidal flow at that location. It was agreed that both lifeboats would return to the yacht, after liaising and updating Humber Coastguard.
Both lifeboats left Seahouses at 20.30hr that day, as daylight began to fail. On reaching the yacht, and following discussion with the skipper of the yacht who was agreeable to receive assistance, the scene was illuminated by the All Weather Lifeboat’s search lamps, while the Inshore Lifeboat attached a tow rope. The Lifeboats were able to prevent the yacht grounding further as it refloated, and tow it to a safe anchorage at the Kettle in the Farnes. It transpired that the yacht had dragged its anchor prior to grounding. The hull was checked and found to be sound.
Once the yacht safely anchored, the Lifeboats returned to station at 22.30hr.