Both Penarth lifeboats were launched this afternoon to investigate a report of a motor-sailor aground and taking on water in the middle of the Bristol Channel.
At the time of the alert, the big spring tide was almost at its lowest level . With no precise position given, the location of the casualty vessel wasn’t immediately obvious. The two lifeboats had to check a number of boats before finally pinpointing the yacht with the problem.
A small wheelhouse fishing boat stood by the 34foot long grounded vessel Aquatrec until Penarth’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Maureen Lilian arrived on the scene.
The stranded motor-sailor turned out to be a vessel from Portishead which had been out for a day-sail and was about to return to her home port when she had run aground east of the North Cardiff buoy just before low water . Her crew suspected that she had sprung a leak .
A lifeboat crew member was put aboard to assist the crew whilst the tide rose again. The yacht – which had been on her side – gradually came upright again and was refloated.
The yacht appeared to have gone aground in the area of “spoil grounds” where mud dredged from the Wrach Channel is dumped by dredgers. Extensive dredging work on the approach to Cardiff Docks has been going on recently.
The Penarth lifeboat accompanied the motor-sailor most of the way to Portishead Marina. All on board were confirmed as being safe and well.