Sailors rescued by Lyme Regis lifeboat

Lyme lifboat approaches the capsized dinghy. Picture: RNLI

Lyme lifboat approaches the capsized dinghy. Picture: RNLI - Credit: Archant

Two former professional sailors were rescued by the crew of Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat yesterday (Sunday August 11)when their dinghy capsized in strong winds 500m south of the town’s harbour.

The dinghy under tow by the Lyme lifeboat. Picture: Rob James

The dinghy under tow by the Lyme lifeboat. Picture: Rob James - Credit: Archant

Sam Brearey, 30, from Canterbury, and Christian Birrell, 30, from London, were training for a national sailing championships event next weekend when the forestay - a rope supporting the mast - broke and their vessel capsized throwing them both overboard.

The men were in the water when the lifeboat crew arrived.

The dinghy safely in harbour alongside Lyme Regis Lifeboat. Picture: Rob James

The dinghy safely in harbour alongside Lyme Regis Lifeboat. Picture: Rob James - Credit: Archant

The 14 ft Merlin Rocket sailing boat with the two men aboard was then towed by the lifeboat to the safety of Lyme Regis harbour.

Sam Brearey said: "Despite all the experience we have both gained, if the forestay goes you have a major problem.

The two rescued sailors Christian (centre) and Sam (white T shirt) with members of the Lyme Regis l

The two rescued sailors Christian (centre) and Sam (white T shirt) with members of the Lyme Regis lifeboat crew after their rescue. Picture: Max Yaxley - Credit: Archant


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"We were very pleased to see the lifeboat crew, who were brilliant at working together to recover us and the boat. There was simply nothing we could do after the forestay broke."

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by coastguards at 2.27pm and returned to Lyme Regis harbour at 4pm.

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