Mayday call from yacht dismasted on the Skerries bank

Launch No: 451
Craft: Norma Ethel Vinall. B-825
Saturday, 19 September 2020
Location: Skerries bank. Start bay
Photo: Andy Kyle
The 33ft dismasted yacht was towed back to Dartmouth

Three Yachtsmen from Bristol were sailing from Brixham to Plymouth in their 33ft yacht. They were running in a moderate NNE wind when they crossed the Skerries Bank in a 2m swell. Without warning the mast snapped landing inboard with the rigging in the water. Fortunately none of the crew were injured. In response to their Mayday call HM Coastguard tasked RNLI Dart to launch their Atlantic 85 lifeboat, B-825. The yacht was in Start Bay, 4.5miles from Dartmouth and 2miles offshore from Torcross. On arrival two of the Dart lifeboat crew were put aboard the yacht. They lashed down the rigging and established a tow to Dartmouth which took 1 hour 45 minutes against the wind and sea. All three crew and the yacht were brought in safely to Dartmouth Harbour where the yacht was changed to an alongside tow and berthed on DA pontoon.

Photo: Andy Kyle
The dismasted yacht was taken to a pontoon in Dartmouth Harbour
Left to right. Mark Conroy, Karl Guess, Richard Eggleton & Buster Hart
Photo: John Fenton / RNLI Dart Lifeboat Press officer
Launch 451. The rescued and their rescuers
Left to right. Mark Conroy, Karl Guess, Richard Eggleton & Buster Hart


Request Received 12:41pm
Time at incident 2 hour, 27 minutes
Time to recovery 3 hour, 38 minutes
Back on Service 4:19pm


Sea/River State Moderate
Wind Direction Northeast
Wind Strength 25 knots
AIS track of B-825 to dismasted yacht on the Skerries bank

Map: trackaship universal

Lifeboat Crew

Buster Hart (Helm)
Mark Conroy
Rich Eggleton
Karl Guess

Shore Crew

Deputy Launch Authority

Sophie Rennie

Station address

RNLI Dart Lifeboat Station
Coronation Park
North Embankment
Devon TQ6 9RR

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