Sunderland and Hartlepool RNLI lifeboats scrambled in search for missing yacht

Lifeboat volunteers scrambled to assist a stricken yacht ended up in a search operation when the vessel could not be found.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers were paged by Humber Coastguard at 2.33pm on Friday, June 17, to assist a 30ft yacht with two people aboard which had suffered mechanical failure two miles off the coast near Crimdon.

The inshore lifeboat 'Solihull' was launched at 2.43pm and made its way to the position north of Hartlepool provided by the skipper, but nothing was found.

Sunderland and Tynemouth RNLI lifeboats were later launched to assist with the search.

Picture c/o Tom Collins/RNLI.

The vessel was eventually found at 4.40pm by the Hartlepool inshore lifeboat crew seven miles east of Seaham, and towed back to Seaham Harbour by Tynemouth lifeboat.

The Sunderland and Hartlepool lifeboats were then released from the search to return to their respective stations.

Hartlepool RNLI deputy launch authority Steve Pounder said: "There appears to have been some incorrect information from the skipper of the yacht that lead to some confusion as to the correct position of the yacht.

“Fortunately with the assistance of our colleagues at Sunderland and Tynemouth the situation was resolved and the yacht returned safely to Seaham." The Hartlepool RNLI inshore lifeboat returned to the Ferry Road lifeboat station at 5.30pm and was refuelled and made ready for service by 6pm.

Sea conditions were described as slight with a west south-westerly five-knot wind and good visibility.

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts.