A COUPLE had a wedding anniversary they weren't expecting when they had to be rescued by a lifeboat crew during deteriorating weather conditions at Holyhead.

The pair had been on a fishing excursion to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary when their 32 foot motor vessel got into trouble.

The Holyhead RNLI crew went to the aid of the relieved couple on Thursday night.

They were found to be in good health and were equipped with life jackets.

The Holyhead crew were called out just before 8pm, after reports that a vessel was in difficulty about half a mile from the Holyhead Breakwater end.

The inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper was launched and four volunteers went to help.

Initially, the weather was good, with a calm sea, and the lifeboat reached the stricken vessel quickly.

A tow was quickly established, but then a heavy fog began to descend, making visibility very poor.

According to a lifeboat spokesperson, whilst contacting the UK coastguard to get permission to begin heading back with the stricken boat, the crew was advised that the Stena Superfast ferry was embarking on her journey to Ireland, and it was "too dangerous" to attempt to cross her path at that point.

The lifeboat and casualty craft stayed clear of the ferry for several minutes.

But as visibility was so poor by then the lifeboat crew could not see the large ferry.

"They knew she was close; but using the specialist navigation equipment on board the ILB, they were able to retreat to a safe position and monitor the larger vessel so she could pass safely," the spokesperson said.

As soon as it was safe, the crew made their way back with the vessel, placing her on a mooring within Holyhead harbour.

ILB helm Dave Roberts said the crew worked well with the navigation equipment to ensure the rescue was carried out "safely and efficiently."

He said: ‘The couple on board were relieved to see us. We got there just in time before the fog really descended; it was lucky they called us when they did.

"They were well equipped and just unlucky to suffer problems. I don’t think it was the anniversary night out they had planned!"

Lifeboat Operations Manager at Holyhead, David Owens, said: "This is a perfect example of how quickly weather conditions can change.

"When our crew set off at 8pm, it was bright and visibility was excellent, but this all changed rapidly, and in less than half an hour, the fog made for very challenging conditions with such poor visibility."

He added: "The volunteers showed their adaptability at being able to cope so well with the changing conditions, using skills they have developed during hours of training.’

The ILB was back at station by 9.15pm, where she was prepared for further service.