HOLYHEAD’s volunteer lifeboat crew was called out twice this weekend to vessels in trouble in the Irish Sea.

The first shout came just before 10am on Saturday June 15, to a 38ft yacht with two people on board, who had sent a distress call after they suffered complete mechanical and electrical failure. They gave their position as seven miles north of the Skerries lighthouse.

After a very fast turnout from the volunteers, the all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce,

was launched and headed to the general area to search for the stricken boat.

The sailors’ location was not precise, so lookouts were posted aboard the lifeboat. It was

eagle eyed navigator Nicky Price who spotted the yacht on the horizon.

On reaching the craft at 11.30am, the crew established a tow, and headed back to

Holyhead, in what coxswain Tony Price described as confused seas as there was a wind

against the tide, but both the lifeboat and casualty craft returned safely to a casualty

mooring at 1.45pm, where mechanical assistance was then sought.

The two-person crew was very grateful to the lifeboat crew and to all those others who

were on hand, including Cemaes coastguard volunteers and the UK Coastguard who coordinated the rescue.

The second call came just before 8pm on Saturday, with coastguards citing a 10-metre vessel

suffering mechanical failure. The craft, with two Dutch sailors on board, was en route

from Weymouth to the Faroe Islands on a fishing trip. She had lost power near the end of the Holyhead breakwater, but due to the weather conditions, had drifted across Holyhead Bay.

Initially, the D-class inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper was paged, and headed

immediately to the stricken craft to establish a tow, and prevent her from running into

danger in the Church Bay area. One volunteer crew member was placed aboard the craft

to offer the sailors advice and assist with the tow preparation.

The weight of the casualty craft, at seven tons, was at the limits for the ILB’s towing

capabilities in the blustery weather conditions, and so the all weather lifeboat Christopher

Pearce was paged at 8.20pm. The inshore lifeboat was able to keep the stricken boat

safe from further danger until the ALB’s arrival at the scene.

The tow was quickly transferred to the larger lifeboat, and all vessels then made their way

back to the Holyhead Sailing Club area, where the casualty craft was placed safely on a


Coxswain Tony Price praised the dedication of the lifeboat crew for attending so quickly

for both rescues. He said: “There is such dedication among the volunteers. On the first call, there was such fantastic attendance so quickly on a Saturday morning, and the successful rescue was made in some challenging seas.

“The second call in the evening was a great example of teamwork, and a bit of forethought before things deteriorated. Both lifeboats were able to get out onto the water, and it was great to see both boats working so well together in their different roles.”