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"You certainly saved our lives"

Wednesday 31 May 2023

"You certainly saved our lives"

Wednesday 31 May 2023

The crew of a French yacht that had to be towed to safety after getting into difficulty in rough seas have thanked the RNLI for saving their lives – and offering them cake when they arrived back on dry land six hours later.

The Heartbeat 6 yacht, which had seven people on board, had to be towed back to St. Helier on Monday after struggling near the Minquiers reef.

The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the Saint Malo lifeboat were called out just after 15:40 when the 14-metre yacht lost power and steering.

The Jersey lifeboat reached the vessel within approximately one hour, but the return journey with the yacht in tow took almost six hours due to the strong north-easterly wind and rough sea conditions.

Writing in French on Facebook, the Captain of the Heartbeat 6 yacht, Francois Dubaele said: "These few words will not be enough to express all our gratitude and thanks for the dedication of the crew.

"What can I say about the attention that our rescuers gave us? Professionalism and humanity are your extraordinary values.

"And what to think about the welcome by new lifeguards on the pontoon offering us drinks and a multitude of cakes? You are amazing and we will never forget what you have done for us."

Heartbeat 6 crew member, Phil Blche, also praised the RNLI for both their "professionalism" and "kindness", saying: "You certainly saved our lives."

"Competence and empathy are your hallmarks," he said.

Another crew member, Sophie Dubaele, thanked the RNLI team for their efficiency, added: "Seeing you arrive was a real relief. We owe you a lot."

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