French Yacht Reder Vras with rudder failure

Sunday 10 July 2016

Location: 3½ miles South of Pendennis Point

Weather: SW 5, Moderate Sea and Slight Swell, Good Visibility, Sunny Periods

All-weather lifeboat (Launched 11:28 / Returned 13:27) – Dave Nicoll (Deputy 2nd Coxswain), Jonathan Blakeston, Tom Bird, Diane Bush, Claire Angove, Jake Ingleby, Josh Williams


At 11:20 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth All Weather Lifeboat be launched to assist the 8.5m French Yacht Reder Vras with four persons on board which had issued a Pan-Pan Broadcast after it had suffered failure of its rudder in a position 3½ miles South of Pendennis Point. The Angling Boat Anglo Dawn also responded to the yachts broadcast.

The All Weather Lifeboat left its pontoon berth at 11:28 and having rounded Pendennis Point headed out into Falmouth Bay. At 11:32 the Anglo Dawn reported that she was standing by the yacht awaiting the arrival of the lifeboat. At 11:42 the coastguard requested that the All Weather Lifeboat divert to assist the Dive Boat Patrice II which was 1 mile North of the Manacle Buoy and had reported engine difficulties. Arriving on scene at 11:48 it was confirmed that the Patrice II had managed to sort its engine problems so the lifeboat was released to continue to assist the original casualty. The lifeboat arrived on scene with the Reder Vras at 11:54 and once the yacht had been taken in tow at 12:01 the Anglo Dawn was released to return to its fishing.

The yacht was towed towards Falmouth where at 12:56 in the shelter of Pendennis Point the yacht was strapped alongside the lifeboat before being taken into the Inner Harbour where the yacht was safely moored alongside the Port Pendennis Marina at 13:19, the lifeboat being then released to return to its station.

The All Weather Lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth at 13:27, where the lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service by 13:45.

The yacht had been on passage from France to the UK when its rudder fixings had failed, leaving the yacht at the mercy of the elements. The crew were well equipped and were very grateful for the assistance they received.