THIS summer’s wetter weather has meant that the RNLI have received less calls than they would normally expect, but Whitby’s lifeboat team have gained recognition after they conducted a rescue in some of the worst sea conditions of the year.
The rescue of a yacht named Quo Vadis on 30 August saw the crew battle Force 7 winds and storm seas to tow the vessel to safety.
Whitby mechanic and crewmember Glenn Goodbury recalled the rescue: “It was a mucky day with a stiff wind. The skipper called for help with an engine that was overheating and a seasick crew.”
The yacht was off Staithes, hoping to reach the shelter of Whitby harbour, but was struggling to make any headway and so the lifeboat was launched and towed it back to Whitby, where they encountered further difficulties.
“The harbour entrance was quite poor for a small boat to attempt an entry,” said Glenn. “We advised that Whitby wasn’t a good idea because he had no motor power and to tow him would have been difficult because yachts have flimsy fittings.”
A decision was taken for the yacht to head to Scarborough, where conditions were more favourable. Whitby lifeboat escorted the yacht until the crew felt happy to proceed alone. Scarborough’s all-weather lifeboat then escorted the yacht safely into harbour.
Summer 2012 was the wettest for 100 years and this is thought to have had an impact on the number of RNLI lifeboat launches, which in the north of England were down 29 per cent on last summer.
OEM Stone III, Whitby’s D Class inshore lifeboat, has been called out 11 times to date, while the all-weather Trent class lifeboat, the George and Mary Webb, has been called out 33 times.