Lifeboat crew rescues ex-professional sailors

LYME Regis lifeboat crew was called out for the third time in three days on Sunday, when a dinghy capsized in strong winds. 

Two ex-professional sailors were rescued by the volunteer crew after their dinghy capsized 500m south of the town’s harbour.

Sam Brearey, 30, from Canterbury, and Christian Birrell, also 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.

Both men were in the water when the lifeboat crew arrived. The 14-foot Merlin Rocket sailing boat was then towed by the lifeboat to the safety of Lyme Regis harbour with the two men aboard.

Sam commented: “Despite all the experience we have both gained, if the forestay goes you have a major problem.

“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 were requested to launch by coastguards at 2.27pm and returned to Lyme Regis harbour at 4pm. It was the third call in three days for the crew, with call outs on both Friday and Saturday for people cut off by the tide.

Ex-professional sailors Sam Brearey and Christian Birrell pictured with members of Lyme Regis lifeboat crew following their rescue (photo credit: RNLI)
Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 1755 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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