Yorkshire Belle blown loose in Bridlington harbour

The Yorkshire Belle is blown into the Heidi J. Picture by Andy Brompton.
The Yorkshire Belle is blown into the Heidi J. Picture by Andy Brompton.

A WELL-KNOWN Bridlington pleasure boat was torn from its moorings and was blown into other boats during severe weather conditions.

High winds were to blame when the Yorkshire Belle came loose at Bridlington Harbour, which saw Bridlington’s lifeboat crew, coastguards, local fisherman and harbour staff struggle to get the vessel back under control.

At around 8.50pm last Friday, one of the mooring ropes holding the Yorkshire Belle parted and that caused the boat to be blown by wind into other boats.

Andy Brompton, of Bridlington Lifeboat, said: “Humber Coastguard had alerted the coxswain of the lifeboat that the Yorkshire Belle had broken loose from one of its moorings, and on arrival the crew could see that the Yorkshire Belle had swung round on her remaining mooring and was being blown on to other boats moored nearby.

“Boat owners and harbour staff were doing their best to try and keep their boats from being damaged.

“The sea was breaking over the harbour walls and with gale force winds driving snow and sleet causing almost blizzard conditions.

“Due to the severe conditions the inshore lifeboat Windsor Spirit was lowered into the harbour to assist in passing ropes from one of the other boats to the Yorkshire Belle to secure it.

“Three crew members were aboard the inshore lifeboat and the rest of the crew were divided between the Yorkshire Belle and another boat.

“One boat was moved and I’m not sure the damage done to that one, but I know that the Heidi J fishing boat suffered damage. Luckily it doesn’t appear that damage was as bad as first feared.”

Mr Brompton said the Yorkshire Belle’s engine had been drained of water to avoid it freezing, and had to be re-filled before it could be started.

A combined effort between coastguards, fishermen, harbour staff and the lifeboat crew then saw the Yorkshire Belle moved to a new berth at the south pier by around 11pm.

Roy Simpson, who has ran the Yorkshire Belle along with business partner Peter Richardson for 30 years, said: “It’s at the south pier now and it has suffered some damage, but it’s hopefully not too bad and it is something that we can fix fairly soon I hope.

“It seems to be just a consequence of the bad weather and nothing could be done about it.”

He explained that one of the mooring barrels which the boat was tied too had become damaged, putting too much strain on the rope, causing it to part –which ended up seeing the boat blown into others in the harbour.