Larne RNLI launched three times this weekend to recover three yachts which broke from their moorings in severe weather.
During the first incident on Friday September 9, Larne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat raced to the rescue of a 29ft yacht which had broken free of its mooring in the shipping channel near Curran Quay.
Conditions at the time were described as “particularly challenging,” with the vessel suffering from a broken mast and loose rigging in a very heavy sea.
Due to the severe weather and strong winds, the Larne all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Frank Healy then launched at 4.25pm to provide support at the scene. After two volunteer crew members boarded the yacht to set up a tow, the vessel was safely transported to a mooring in Larne Lough.
Then, on Sunday, the volunteer RNLI crew launched the all-weather lifeboat in winds of up to force 10 to save two yachts, one which had broken from its mooring and another which was dragging its mooring into the shipping channel.
Once the first yacht was secure, lifeboat crew and the yacht’s owner were placed aboard the yacht dragging its mooring.
Due to the wind and sea conditions in the lough, the decision was made to head for safe harbour in Glenarm rather than attempt a mooring pickup. After ensuring that the casualty vessel was safely on its way to Glenarm under its own steam, Larne lifeboat returned to the station.
Reflecting on the incident-packed weekend, Larne RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson said, ‘The strong southerly winds and heavy sea state within the lough made these three incidents extremely challenging for our volunteer crews to deal with.
“All their training was called upon in removing the vessels from further danger.”