THE four-strong crew of a stranded yacht was rescued by Hoylake lifeboat volunteers after its engine failed.

Hoylake lifeboat was alerted by the UK Coastguard at around 11am on Saturday, to reports that the wind had dropped and the eight-metre yacht was unable to make any progress.

It had been heading to Liverpool Marina and was initially taken under tow by a commercial wind farm vessel.

Hoylake's Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood and its volunteer crew launched into calm and sunny conditions and headed to the casualty vessel’s location north of Talacre.

Wirral Globe:

The broken down yacht was towed through the Burbo Bank Wind Farm into the River Mersey. Picture: Hoylake RNLI

On arrival, the lifeboat crew passed a towline to the yacht and the wind farm vessel crew released their lines.

Hoylake Lifeboat then began towing the casualty to Liverpool Marina, passing through the Burbo Bank Wind Farm and entering the main shipping channel of the River Mersey. After nearly 3 hours towing, the lifeboat and yacht arrived at Brunswick Lock.

Hoylake Lifeboat brought the casualty vessel through the lock and secured it on a berth in Liverpool Marina.

Wirral Globe:

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat towed the broken down yacht to the safety of Liverpool Marina. Picture: Hoylake RNLI

With the casualties requiring no further assistance, Hoylake Lifeboat was stood down and returned to the lifeboat station to be made ready for service again.

This was Howie Owen's first shout in command of Hoylake RNLI lifeboat since taking on the role of Coxswain Mechanic at the station last month.

Wirral Globe:

Howie Owen. Picture: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Howie said: "The casualties did the right thing by raising the alarm when their yacht broke down. Our volunteer crew were glad to be able to bring them to the safety of Liverpool Marina after a long tow.

"Thank you to the wind farm vessel crew too for helping to secure the yacht at sea. 

"Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, making up almost 20 per cent of all RNLI lifeboat launches. If you get into difficulty at sea, always call the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 or by dialling 999 or 112."