Wells lifeboat rescued a yacht with engine failure which was drifting dangerously close to a new wind farm off Skegness.
The all weather lifeboat was called to 28-footer Pepsand at 5.30pm yesterday after getting into difficulty five miles off Brancaster in an area known as Burnham Flats.
The yacht, with two men on board, was trying to make its way to Lowestoft from Scarborough, Yorkshire, when the engine overheated due to a faulty water impellor which should keep the engine cool by pumping cold water around it.
The headwind and tide meant the boat could not make headway under sail and by the time the lifeboat reached them at 6.30pm it was just two miles east of the wind farm.
The yacht was towed back to Wells where it stayed overnight and its impellor was repaired so it could continue on its journey to Lowestoft this morning.
Wells lifeboat press officer John Mitchell said it was too early to say whether the wind farm, which is still being constructed, was likely to present more problems for sailors and result in more calls to the coastguard but it was something they were monitoring.
“On that tide boats are going to get blown that way and there is quite a likelihood that calls to the coastguard will become more frequent,” he said.
“This is one of the first instances but if a boat becomes disabled in this area they can drift in that direction.”
He said the blades of the turbines should be high enough above sea level not to interfere with crafts but he said getting right on top of a wind farm “is not somewhere you would want to be”.
He added: “There is an exclusion zone around them and they are well buoyed and marked so the concern would be getting blown against the turbine masts. Anything in the sea is a hazard and the crew of the Pepsand did absolutely the right thing in calling the coastguard. They called before they got into immediate danger but I am sure they were very relieved to see the lifeboat.”
4 July 2008
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