Video: Norfolk couple rescued from storm-damaged yacht
PUBLISHED: 09:13 14 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:13 14 May 2014
When a storm hit a Norfolk couple’s yacht, their lives were placed in danger.
Andy Nairn and his partner Karen, from Gorleston, were on their way from northern Spain to Falmouth when they ran into rough seas and high winds on Saturday.
The vessel Marique was almost 40 miles south of Lizard Point, Cornwall, when its boom and rigging were damaged, with fuel running low and the Norfolk couple struggling due to tiredness and sea conditions.
RNLI crew based at Lizard Point launched their Tamar class all-weather lifeboat Rose just before 3pm.
Rescuers found the Lowestoft registered yacht in south westerly gale force eight winds with a very rough sea and swell and good visibility. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 4.15pm, locating the yacht 18 miles south south west of Lizard Point.
The fishing vessel Sparkling Line was standing by the yacht until the arrival of the lifeboat.
Lifeboatmen said once on scene they quickly realised that although the yacht was managing to sail under its own power it was in real trouble.
Crew member Darren Thirlaway leapt on board and set up a towline, and the yacht was then towed to Falmouth arriving at 9.40pm.
After making sure the yacht was safely moored alongside a pontoon in Falmouth harbour, The Lizard lifeboat returned to station at 10.20pm. The lifeboat crew had been at sea for more than seven hours and had travelled more than 70 miles.
Coxswain Andrew Putt said: “Conditions were very rough on scene but transferring Darren aboard went very well.
“The conditions meant we had to take the tow along carefully as the yacht surfed over the top of the towline when we were setting it up.
“We made good time to Falmouth. The yachts crew were very tired and very pleased to see us.”
The lifeboat crew were Coxswain Andrew Putt, Mechanic Steve Tattersall and crew members Darren Thirlaway, Johnny Bray, Nick Tattersall, Nick Hampshire and Simon Fayers
To find out more about The Lizard lifeboat station see www.thelizardlifeboat.org.uk