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Yacht’s crew run aground after trying to avoid Teesside Wind Farm  

Credit:  By Andy Passant | Gazette Live | Mar 31, 2014 | www.gazettelive.co.uk ~~

Lifeboats were launched after a yacht being sailed by its new owner for the first time ran aground on rocks at Redcar after trying to avoid a wind farm.

The yacht was heading for Hartlepool Marina with a crew of two on Saturday after it had been bought earlier in the day at Whitby.

The alarm was raised just after 6pm by an off-duty Redcar RNLI volunteer.

The volunteer saw the yacht had run aground approximately half a mile north west of the lifeboat station.

Both RNLI lifeboats from Redcar were launched.

Once alongside, the lifeboat crew found that the yacht was hard aground, with low tide still almost three hours away.

Dave Cocks, from Redcar RNLI, said: “When our volunteer crew got alongside the yacht, the two men on board told them one of the men had just bought the yacht and this was their first attempt to sail it.

“In an attempt to avoid sailing through the Teesside Wind Farm, they decided to stay close inshore but unfortunately that brought then into contact with the rocks off Redcar.”

The yacht was checked for damage and its two-man crew opted to remain on board and await the rising tide.

Two RNLI volunteers also remained on board. The lifeboats returned to station and the crews were placed on standby until low tide, when two of the crew walked out to the yacht to recheck its condition.

At 11.30pm the lifeboats relaunched and the yacht was refloated at 11.40pm.

It was then escorted by the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Leicester Challenge III.

It made the two-hour passage to Hartlepool under its own engine, helmed by an RNLI crew member.

Mr Cocks, deputy launching authority for Redcar Lifeboat, said the yacht’s crew were unable to navigate the vessel in the darkness. He said: “Neither of the yacht’s crew were able to navigate at night, so two of our crew remained on board for the passage to Hartlepool.

“The yacht was not carrying navigation charts so, even if they had been qualified, they couldn’t have plotted a route.”

Source:  By Andy Passant | Gazette Live | Mar 31, 2014 | www.gazettelive.co.uk

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