Port St Mary RNLI crew awarded for saving three lives at sea before yacht capsized

  • Port St Mary RNLI crew rescue three people in distress at sea

Crew members from the Port St Mary RNLI team have been recognised for their bravery after a rescue that saved three people's lives at sea.

The rescue saw two lifeboats save three people before their yacht capsized in November 2021.

Complications between the yacht's propeller and lobster pot lines meant the boat drifted dangerously close to rocks on the coast of the Isle of Man.

Due to the position of the yacht, the breaking seas and the limited depth of water, the all-weather lifeboat was unable to approach.

Coxswain Mike Keggen kept the lifeboat in a minimum depth of water and manoeuvred to provide protection so the inshore lifeboat could approach the yacht.

Inshore lifeboat helm Richard Leigh informed the all-weather lifeboat Coxswain Mike Keggen that due to the entanglement of the lobster pot lines in the yacht’s propeller, it would be unsafe to tow the yacht to safety.

It was agreed that the best course of action would be to take the crew off the yacht and bring them to the all-weather lifeboat for passage back to the Alfred Pier.

In very challenging conditions, helm Richard Leigh was able to approach the yacht, and retrieved all three of the yacht’s crew.

As a result, Helmsman Richard Leigh has been awarded a bronze medal for gallantry and letters of thanks will be presented to nine members of the crew.

Letters of thanks are to be presented to nine crew members who were crucial in the rescue. Credit: RNLI

Sarah Keggen from Port St Mary RNLI said: "I would like to commend the helm for his great professionalism through this call out.

"This was a very difficult rescue in very changeable weather conditions."

The helm's "experience, leadership and skill" meant the rescue was a success, she added.

Members of the crew will receive their awards later in the year.

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