THE TENBY Harbourmaster and his assistant have been praised for the help they gave the crew of a sinking yacht over the weekend.

Chris Salisbury and his assistant, Jack Oliver, worked long hours in a bid to save the vessel and prevent pollution in Tenby harbour.

The Zest, with a two-man crew from Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, was moored to the harbour wall when it began sinking on Saturday morning’s incoming tide.

“When we arrived on the scene shortly before 8.30am the vessel was taking in water fast,” explained Chris. “We began removing all 50 litres of fuel, set up a salvage pump and arranged for an oil pollution kit to be stationed.”

Unfortunately the ingress of water was more than the pump could handle and shortly afterwards the Zest was under water, despite attempts to effect short-term repairs.

Chris and Jack returned later that night to secure the Zest and advised other boat owners to move their vessels.

The next day they contacted Dale Sailing and Davies Crane Hire and on Monday the yacht was removed onto a barge and taken to Neyland.

Their response drew thanks from the Zest’s owner, Ian Aitken of Barry.

“I have told Chris and Jack how grateful I am. Their calm response and hard work made a horrid stressful day much better than it could have been,” he said.

There was also praise from Tenby County Councillor Michael Williams, himself a member of the town’s seafaring community.

Cllr Williams said: “They went about their duties in an exemplary way preventing what could have been a considerable pollution event. They also secured the vessel and assisted the owners who were in a state of considerable shock.

“They went well beyond what could be reasonably expected of them and are wonderful ambassadors for Tenby harbour and Pembrokeshire County Council.”

Chris Salisbury said he was grateful to surveyor Ben Sutcliffe, Dale Sailing and Davies Crane Hire of Milford Haven for their quick response.

He added: “We have always been very fortunate in Tenby harbour that the local community, boat owners and the RNLI always pull together and will help out anyone in distress.”