Yacht Yemaya of Helford with rudder failure

Date: Tuesday 12 September 2017

Location: 1 mile South of Pendennis Point

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

All weather lifeboat: (Launched 11:40 / Returned 13:12) – Dave Nicoll (Deputy 2nd Coxswain), Sandy Procter, Josh Beardmore, Adam West, Thomas Telford, Jamie Connoly, Jamie Wakefield, Will Allen


At 11:33 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth All Weather Lifeboat be launched to assist the 16m Yacht Yemaya of Helford with three people on board which had issued a Mayday call reporting that its rudder had failed 1 mile South of Pendennis Point in Falmouth Bay.

The All Weather Lifeboat left its pontoon berth at 11:40 and having passed Pendennis Point headed out into Falmouth Bay. Three other vessels were standing by the yacht and the All Weather Lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:49. A lifeboat crew member with a drogue was transferred to the yacht. Working with the yachts skipper the lifeboat crew member was able to rig the vessels emergency steering so it was decided to escort the yacht into the harbour, where two more lifeboat crew were transferred to the yacht before it proceeded up the Penryn River to the Falmouth Marina where it was safely secured at 12:56. Once the lifeboat crews had been recovered to the lifeboat it was released to return to its station.

The All Weather Lifeboat arrived back alongside its pontoon berth at 13:12 where it was refuelled and ready for service by 13:25.

The charter yacht had been on a day trip sailing in Falmouth Bay when its steering mechanism had failed. The commercial skipper was concerned that with two inexperienced crew members that he would need additional assistance.