Storm Claudico: RNLI heroes face rain and rough seas as they rescue couple from capsized yacht

This is the moment a couple were rescued from dangerous conditions just off Sandbanks after their £150,000 yacht capsized in high winds as Storm Claudico hit in the early hours of Tuesday.

Volunteers from the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) in Swanage received a call on May 1 just before midnight when 80mph gusts began to blast the vessel, named ‘Juno Lucina’, after it started to drag his anchor.

Footage from the rescue mission shows an RNLI volunteer throwing a rope to the man and woman, aged in their 40s, who were forced to abandon the yacht and climb into their dingy dinghy and to row 160 feet in the dark to the lifeboat all the time after fearing it would sink.

In the video, the all-weather lifeboat approaches the couple in the dark, with just a searchlight to help find them as they are lashed by rain and the wind blows mercilessly around them.

In the background, the luxury yacht can be seen rocking to one side after her keel ran aground on a small sandbar just off Sandbanks in Dorset.

As the rescue team closes in on the couple, an RNLI volunteer can be seen throwing a rope to them in an attempt to pull them to safety.

The couple were brought back to Poole Lifeboat Station and given dry clothes by the rescue team, which was RNLI Swanage’s third in just two days.

RNLI coxswain Dave Turnbull at Swanage Lifeboat Station, who attended the emergency, described the weather conditions as ‘horrendous’.

He said: ‘The owners of the ship were sleeping and the first thing they knew about it was when the bottom of the boat hit the sandbar.

“They called 999 as the vessel ran aground and listed heavily. The keel was over the side of the boat meaning the water was coming in and it could have sunk

“The Swanage lifeboat quickly arrived on the scene. The wind was very strong with gusts over 70 knots.

“As the yacht was badly beached, the injured used their dinghy to join us. We didn’t want to get too close in case we were beached ourselves.”

“They drifted and kind of paddled 50 yards to us. It was not easy for them because of the wind.

“We brought them ashore and left the yacht in place. With the injured safely ashore, the lifeboat was free to return to station in the early hours of the morning.”

The keel of the £150,000 luxury yacht (pictured) ran aground on a small sandbar in Poole, Dorset, knocking her sideways due to 80mph winds brought by Storm Claudico

The luxury yacht (circled) ran aground off Sandbanks in Poole Harbor yesterday morning due to 80mph gusts from Storm Claudico

The luxury yacht (circled) ran aground off Sandbanks in Poole Harbor yesterday morning due to 80mph gusts from Storm Claudico

Waves at Chesil Beach in Dorset were high on Tuesday as Storm Claudio swept across southern England bringing strong gusts and torrential rain.

Waves at Chesil Beach in Dorset were high on Tuesday as Storm Claudio swept across southern England bringing strong gusts and torrential rain.

Earlier in the evening, eight people had to be airlifted to safety from a sailing boat off the Cornish coast on Monday in ‘extremely difficult and unpredictable’ weather.

It comes as wet and gusty conditions are expected to persist as much of the country continues to feel the effects of Storm Claudio.

The French storm brought plenty of wind and rain to the UK on Tuesday as November got off to a windy start, with the Met Office warning much of the same is forecast for Wednesday.

A yellow rain warning is in place for southern Scotland from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Northern Ireland from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Those affected are advised to be aware of travel disruptions and potential flooding following the forecast showers.

West Pier in Brighton suffered a partial collapse on Tuesday after the south coast was ravaged by 80mph gusts of wind and thunderstorms from Storm Claudico

West Pier in Brighton suffered a partial collapse on Tuesday after the south coast was ravaged by 80mph gusts of wind and thunderstorms from Storm Claudico

Flash flooding also hit the south coast with a driver wading through high water near Branksome Beach, Poole, Dorset today

Flash flooding also hit the south coast with a driver wading through high water near Branksome Beach, Poole, Dorset today

Flood warnings are in place for the River Trent and the River Wye in Derbyshire, the River Upper Derwent in Cumbria, the River Esk in North Yorkshire and the South East Somerset rivers.

Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: ’30-40mm of rain is expected in some areas, and where it falls on ground that is already wet from recent rains as well as fallen leaves, there may be spray and flooding on the roads as well as travel delays.’

Meanwhile, a yellow wind warning will be active from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with conditions expected to affect coastal areas of the Irish Sea early before spreading to parts of northern England.

The Met Office warns that road, rail, air and ferry transport delays are likely, while short-term loss of power is also a possibility.

Mr Armstrong added: “Much of the UK can expect a flurry of strong southerly winds on Wednesday, but the warning area highlights where gusts of up to 65mph will occur. and therefore where there are likely to be travel delays.”

The RNLI has urged Britons to take extra care on the coast today after Storm Claudio brought torrential winds and rain overnight.  Pictured: the RNLI in Christchurch, Dorset, this morning.

The RNLI has urged Britons to take extra care on the coast today after Storm Claudio brought torrential winds and rain overnight. Pictured: the RNLI in Christchurch, Dorset, this morning.

A fallen tree on Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth town center in Dorset after Storm Claudio saw winds of up to 80mph sweep the south coast

A fallen tree on Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth town center in Dorset after Storm Claudio saw winds of up to 80mph sweep the south coast

The Royal National Lifeboat Association is urging Britons to take extra care near the coast today with strong winds likely to cause large waves and create choppy conditions.  Pictured: Bright Marina this morning

The Royal National Lifeboat Association is urging Britons to take extra care near the coast today with strong winds likely to cause large waves and create choppy conditions. Pictured: Bright Marina this morning

A section of Brighton’s iconic West Pier was destroyed during the storm yesterday. The pier, which is now in ruins after being closed to the public in 1975, has partially collapsed into the sea.

A nursery school in Devon was evacuated on Tuesday afternoon after a suspected lightning strike. Fire services were called to Willand Nursery School at 2.20pm on Tuesday after a small fire was discovered in an office.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: ‘We were called to Willand Pre-School at 2.20pm due to a loud bang, possible lightning strike and a burning smell. Two teams went to the scene and investigated the building.

“There was a small fire in an office on the first floor when we arrived, believed to have been caused by a lightning strike on an external telephone cable. The building was evacuated, no injuries were reported.

Windy weather also caused two giant balls to bounce off Tottenham Court Road in London in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The huge trinkets caused chaos in traffic, with one appearing to blow into a moving car as the Met Office announced the arrival of Storm Claudio, which caused gales of up to 70 mph in some parts of the country.

They would be part of an art installation by artist Tom Shannon which was due to remain on display in St Giles Square until Friday.

The trinkets were seen causing havoc for traffic in the footage - and one appeared to bounce off a car

The trinkets were seen causing havoc for traffic in the footage – and one appeared to bounce off a car

In Christchurch, Dorset, strong winds overnight saw upturned boats in the harbour, with more gusty winds expected today

In Christchurch, Dorset, strong winds overnight saw upturned boats in the harbour, with more gusty winds expected today

Commuters battled wind and rain on their way to work through Westminster Park in central London this morning

Commuters battled wind and rain on their way to work through Westminster Park in central London this morning