Two members of the crew of Penarth D Class lifeboat  Connie Daines – standing on one of the  dangerous Wolf Rock this afternoon – one of the most notorious hazards in the Bristol Channel . The stranded yacht Onyva – whose skipper had declared a Mayday emergency – was lying on her starboard side and could have been  seriously damaged.  Standing a short distance away is the larger Penarth Atlantic 85 lifeboat  Maureen Lilian

Both Penarth lifeboats and the ocean-going Barry Dock lifeboat were all involved in a Mayday emergency near Flatholm this afternoon

A yacht called “Onyva” has gone aground on the treacherous W0lf Rock and became trapped there on a falling tide.

The Wolf Rock is one of a string of hidden hazards collectively called “The Wolves

Penarth’s little D Class lifeboat Connie Daines successfully managed to land two of her crew of three on the rock to take the Onyva’s s crew to safety. It’s said that more people have walked on the Moon than have dared to walk on “The Wolves”

Penarth’s larger Atlantic  85 lifeboat Maureen Lilian draws too much water to be able to get near enough to the jagged outcrop but – with Barry lifeboat – stood by as the rescue operations proceeded.

All three local lifeboats helped bring the crew of the stranded yacht to safety on board the big Barry Dock lifeboat

There are three Wolf rocks – collectively known as “The Wolves” -which lie just over a mile northwest of Flatholm island

They’ve caused several shipwrecks in the past – including  the “William and Mary” which in 1817 went down with the loss of 54 passengers. Fifty of the bodies were buried on Flatholm. Worse still was the loss of the Swansea Packet which sank with the loss of all 60 people on board in 1917.

Onyva was said to have an “inexperienced crew” and the deep keeled yacht  had clearly not kept her distance from the Wolf Rock and the two other “wolves”  nearby – even though the hazard is clearly marked by navigation buoys .

The yacht Serendipity was one of the first vessels to respond to the Mayday emergency call

The yacht Serendipity , which was one of the first vessels to respond to the Mayday call, stood by until the lifeboats took over the rescue operation

The stranded yacht‘s  crew were taken off the vessel unharmed and were ferried to the Barry Dock lifeboat to be looked after and later tranferred onto Penarth lifeboat to be ferried ashore at Penarth. Luckily, the weather was benign.

“Onyva” is brought into the Wrach Channel off Penarth under her own power with an escort from Penarth lifeboat after spending an uncomfortable afternoon on the dreaded “Wolves” .

The casualty vessel, with her skipper and a member of the lifeboat crew aboard, was safely refloated on tonight’s rising tide and brought into Penarth Marina under her own power where her hull damage is to be inspected.

Two members of her crew who had been taken off yacht after she had gone aground on the Wolves, were brought into Cardiff Bay by the escorting lifeboat.


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  1. Old sea dog says:

    Hopefully this will have a happy ending for the mariners, and a lesson learned !

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