Whitby’s lifeboat team performed one of its most challenging rescues after a yacht missed the harbour entrance and ran aground on the beach.
The drama unfolded on Friday evening when the single- crewed yacht ran the wrong side of the West Pier.
These dramatic images and video were captured by passers-by including Dave Tunstall and Mike Major, a sailor himself who alerted the coastguard.
Mr Major told the Gazette: “I was on Crescent Gardens and went to meet the family and saw the boat, in my view, too close. I got my binoculars and radio and thight he would go back out and round the pier ends but he didn’t, he was going parallel.
“By the time I saw him again he had come aground and was around 50 metres from the harbour wall.
“I called the coastguard and they got the inshore and then the all weather boat.”
The weather conditions and rough seas made it difficult for the crews of both lifeboats as the inshore couldn’t tow the yacht into deeper water but the big boat couldn’t get near enough.
A crew member had to get on board RA to assist the skipper while a tow line was attached.
Mr Major added: “If he had been on the other side of the piers the boat would have been mangled but the sand is a lot more forgiving.”