Stricken yacht towed safely to harbour - with help of dolphins

Larne RNLI rescued two men yesterday afternoon (Wednesday July 5) after their yacht got into difficulty off the Antrim coast.

Thursday, 6th July 2017, 1:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:07 am
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The all-weather lifeboat was launched at 1.46pm following a report from Belfast Coastguard that a 30ft yacht with two people onboard had got into difficulty two miles east of Muck Island.

Dolphins in the area at the time also guided the vessel into the harbour.

The RNLI said that weather conditions were good at the time with “a force one wind and clear visibility”.

A fisheries protection vessel was on scene first and assisted the VHF communications between the lifeboat and the stricken vessel.

The yacht, which had been sailing between Bangor and Campbeltown, had got its propeller tangled on fishing nets. A lack of wind had left the sailors with no means of moving forward.

The lifeboat crew worked to establish a towline and proceeded to tow the vessel to Larne Lough where it was met by Larne’s inshore lifeboat which assisted in helping the yacht onto a mooring.

Roy McMullan, Larne RNLI, reminded anyone taking to the sea this summer to respect the water saying: “Sailing and motor boating are popular pastimes, particularly at this time of year.

“We would encourage sailors to always wear a lifejacket and always have a means for calling or signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it.

“Always check the weather forecast and tide times and make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time.”