Lowestoft Lifeboat called in after engine failure on historic yacht favoured by Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome
- Credit: Archant
A historic yacht reputed to be favourite of Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome has been rescued by a Lowestoft crew after her engine failed off the Suffolk coast.
The 28-foot 'Nancy Blackett' was on passage from Vlissingen in the Netherlands to Suffolk when the engine failed off Kessingland on Friday (July 28).
Lowestoft Lifeboat Station's rescue vessel Reg was launched just before 12.30pm to help the yacht, which was 4.5 miles south-east of the Suffolk town.
John Fox, lifeboat coxswain, said: 'The yacht had a crew of four on board and they told us they has spent the last few weeks sailing in Holland and were returning to Suffolk when a suspected problem with the fuel line caused the engine to fail.
'The sea was quite choppy with the wind blowing a force 4-5 strength southwesterly.
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'We connected a towline and brought the vessel to the safety of the town's inner harbour, mooring her in the yacht basin at 2.15pm – where the crew was met by Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard Rescue Team.'
The Nancy Blackett was built in 1931, and Ransome bought her three years later for £525.
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He sailed her often, making voyages to the Netherlands and using her as the inspiration for his novel We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea - one of the Swallows and Amazons series - regarded as a classic of both children's and seafaring literature.
The yacht is now owned by the Nancy Blackett Trust which has preserved her as a living part of Ransome's heritage - allowing many fans of the author to enjoy the experience of sailing her.
On their website, the trust's news feed said: 'Nancy Blackett is now in Lowestoft, having left The Netherlands early Thursday morning to avoid the worst of the forecast winds.
'Unfortunately, the engine kept stopping and then stayed stopped, so she was towed into Lowestoft by Lifeboat. Fuel problems are suspected, most likely a fuel feed issue, and there is talk of bleeding the system.
'However, at least they are all safe before the worst of the gales come in.
'Three years ago this month, Nancy Blackett visited Lowestoft in somewhat different conditions.'