#coastguard – A man has been rescued nine miles off shore after he was thrown from his vessel and a signal from his personal locator beacon was picked up.
At 4.07pm last night Falmouth Coastguard contacted Milford Haven Coastguard about a signal from a PLB, (personal locator beacon) located nine miles offshore from St David's Head. Coastguard officers checked vessel and contact details on the UK Beacon Registry database and identified that this PLB was registered to the RIB (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat) Merlin.
Milford Haven Coastguard requested the launch of St Davids RNLI Lifeboat and the rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor. The rescue helicopter located the man in the water using the signal from the beacon and winched him into the aircraft. The man was checked by the crew in the helicopter and in agreement with Milford Haven Coastguard returned to his vessel and has made the return voyage to Milford Haven.
The single handed skipper was on voyage from Milford Haven to Kilmore Quay in Ireland when a wave knocked him out of his RIB. He was thrown into the water but was wearing a survival suit, lifejacket and had a PLB with him. The man spent approximately three hours in the water.
Milford Haven Coastguard Watch Manager Rob James says:
"Fortunately this skipper was prepared for a single handed voyage offshore and having the right gear has saved his life. The kill cord on the vessel did work and cut the engine when he was thrown from the boat.
Wearing a survival suit and lifejacket enabled him to survive the three hours in the sea while awaiting rescue and the PLB which was activated sent the exact location of the casualty to the Coastguard."