Lifeboat called out Shetland Races yacht

Lerwick Lifeboat launched this morning (Sunday) to go the aid of a yacht in this year’s
Shetland Races, just minutes before 35 racing yachts assembled to set off across
the North Sea to Bergen.

The 12-metre Norwegian yacht with five people on board had fouled its propeller in
creel lines near the Bressay marina and contacted the UK Coastguard to request

Lerwick Lifeboat crew launched at around 7.55am and made good speed across
the harbour, just as yachts assembled on the start line for the return leg to Bergen
of the 2023 Shetland Races due to set off at 8am.

Passing to the north of the racing vessels, which were due to head out the south
entrance of the harbour, and a 253-metre cruise ship at anchor, the lifeboat reached the
stricken vessel in around five minutes. The crew attached a line and took the stricken
vessel under tow across the harbour.

However, soon after taking up the tow, the crew of the yacht were able to free the rope
from their boat’s propeller and restore engine power again. The yacht then set sails
and joined the Races, heading south to catch up with the other racing yachts which
were by now passing south of Bressay.

Winds were south easterly with force four to five and moderate sea state, with some
patchy fog in places.

This morning’s call-out is thought to be the 900th for Lerwick Lifeboat since the first
RNLI lifeboat took up service in Lerwick Harbour in July 1930.

Stephen Manson, Coxswain of Lerwick Lifeboat said: “It was unfortunate timing for this
vessel to get caught in creel lines, just as all the racing yachts assembled this morning.
We were able to navigate across a busy harbour to reach them quickly but thankfully
the crew of the yacht were able to free the fouled rope themselves.

“We hope they can make up time in the race and we hope all the vessels have a safe passage across the
North Sea back to Bergen. ”


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