Friday, 20 June 2008


A yacht's mast requires a network of wires to keep it vertical. If one of these wires is lost the mast tends to fall over. We've seen this lots of time. With presence of mind and quick reactions this can be avoided by turning the yacht so that the missing wire or 'stay' is on the downwind side of the mast. The strain will then be taken by other wires.

Yesterday's shout involved just this situation. Just after 2 in the afternoon the crew were paged to assist a yacht with rigging failure 10 miles to the south of St Aldhelm's Head. About 40 minutes later they were on scene and put two crew members onboard so as to help stabilise the rig and prepare for the passage back to Swanage. Luckily, with the prevailing wind direction, the wind was pushing the mast forwards and so the vessel could be sailed back to Swanage under Mainsail alone.

Once in Swanage the yacht was attached to the lifeboat mooring and the skipper was re-united with his wife.

Job done...

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