Dufour 40 yacht rescued by Dart Harbour Authority

Dart Harbour is warning yacht owners to take heed of tides and resulting high and low water levels in the harbour after a Dufour 40 yacht, narrowly avoided becoming holed on rocks at Blackness Point.

The boat was rescued by Deputy Harbourmaster Nick Clarance together with river officer Ben Mahon who managed to tow the 40ft long yacht away from the rocks and danger.

“The owners are from Plymouth and hadn’t fully appreciated the danger their yacht was in, believing that while they were going to dry out, it would be OK,” explained Nick.

“However I was concerned about the consequences and preceded with blue lights in a harbour patrol boat to find the yacht, which had a 2m draft, aground on the rocks.”

As the tide was beginning to ebb, time was of the essence so Nick made a quick assessment and decided the only way to save the yacht would be to tow it off.

“I placed Ben on board and strapped our patrol boat alongside,” he explained. “Instructions were given to the owners to put as much weight on the port side of the vessel as possible and with the owners and Ben hanging from the shrouds to help tip the yacht over further and reduce the draft, I managed to spin the yacht gently around, reversing it off the rocks.”

He added: “Without our help the yacht would have undoubtedly been holed and stuck on the rocks leading to a much bigger rescue operation and potential loss of the vessel.

“It’s unknown at this time why the vessel ended up in this situation but shows the continued, sometimes unnoticed, work the harbour office does to help our customers and avoid potential disasters.”

The owners, who want to remain anonymous, added: “We’d like to express our sincere thanks to Mr Clarance for his quick reaction, professionalism and help.”

And they added that they are having the yacht checked and realised afterwards how close it had come to being holed.