Port St Mary Lifeboat Station - Callouts: 3rd July 2001.
Weather thick fog, winds light (Southerly force 1 to 2)
At 05:07 BST Liverpool Coastguard alerted the crew for the all weather lifeboat by pagers. 7 minutes later the Station lifeboat "Gough Ritchie II", 14-26, left her moorings to go to the aid of the yacht "Blue Mantle" with a crew of two adults in difficulties some 2.5 miles to the east of Langness.
The 26 foot long yacht had left Preston, Lancashire on the Monday evening in light winds bound ultimately for Portagual.
By 04:00 BST the yacht was approaching the south east coast of the Island and thick fog had closed in ; visibility ranged at times between a hundred yards to quarter of a mile. There was a spring tide with low water at 04:50 BST; this meant the yacht was motor-sailing against a strong flood tide.
However their engine stopped running through what they believed to be fuel starvation. Sailing in the light winds they were failing to make any headway against the flood tide off Langness. To compound problems their engine batteries were exhausted thus they had no power for their VHF radio and GPS navigation. The yachts crew decided assistance was required and contacted the Coastguard by a 999 call using a mobile phone they carried.
The lifeboat proceeded to Langness Point at reduced speed using the radar to search for the yacht. Once clear of Langness Point the yacht was located by radar some 1.75 miles to the north east (approx. 1 mile ESE of Fort Island) and at 05:40 BST were alongside "Blue Mantle" .
Whilst the yachtsmen took down their sails it was noticed that the crafts propellor appeared to be fouled by plastic sacking and that this was the likely cause of the engine failure. Ten minutes later the yacht was under tow back to Port St Mary 6 miles away. At 6:30 BST the fog lifted completely !
However, due to the strength of the tide around the tip of Langness Point and the lack of strong points on the yacht for attaching the tow line, a speed of under 2 knots was only possible. Once clear of Langness both boats made a better speed of four knots and arrived off Port St Mary's Alfred Pier at 07:50 BST without further incident.
Shortening the tow to the yacht "Blue Mantle" prior to bringing alongside Port St Mary Breakwater
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