West Kirkby lifeboat damaged in yacht rescue

A RNLI lifeboat has been damaged rescuing a yacht and its skipper from a sandbank in the River Dee.

The West Kirby inshore lifeboat was launched in adverse weather at 06:10 GMT to assist the sailing yacht Moon Dancer which had become stranded on a sandbank close to Thurstaston, Wirral.

Two of the lifeboat crew entered the water to help refloat the yacht.

While towing the yacht to West Kirby the RNLI lifeboat sustained damage which is currently being assessed.

The yacht's skipper, who had been living on board at Thurstaston Moorings, was sailing to the south coast.

The West Kirby lifeboat, Dave and Trevor Jones, remains operational but may have to be substituted temporarily for repairs.

Dave Henshaw, operations manager for the West Kirby said the rescue took place in "adverse weather conditions, on the limits of inshore lifeboat's capabilities, in darkness and whilst taking on a considerable amount of water".

It was a "testament to the commitment, training and the dedication of our volunteer crew", he added.

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