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Lone Sailor Rescued in Irish Sea

25th October 2009
Lone Sailor Rescued in Irish Sea

At ten minutes past seven this morning, Swansea Coastguard received a call from a man out walking on the coast with his dog.  The man informed the Coastguard that he could see a yacht drifting out to sea, with torn sails flapping in the wind.

Swansea Coastguard made a broadcast on VHF radio to try and gain communication with the yacht and also ascertain whether there were any vessels near that could go to the yacht and assess what the situation was with anyone on board.

Swansea Coastguard called out the Watchet Coastguard rescue team who went to a location where they could keep a visual watch on the yacht.

After receiving no response from any vessels in the vicinity, and with growing concern from the Coastguard rescue team watching the yacht, it was decided to launch a lifeboat. Swansea Coastguard requested the launch of the Burnham RNLI lifeboat . Upon arriving they found a lone sailor who was struggling with his vessel and the weather.

The lifeboat took the yacht under tow after placing two lifeboat crew on the stricken vessel. The yacht was then towed to Burnham Yacht club.

The weather is reported as Westerly Force 3, good visibility, with slight swell at Burnham.

Steve Jones, Watch Manager, Swansea Coastguard said:

Upon arrival, it was ascertained by the Watchet Coastguard team that the man had been sailing from Falmouth to Penarth. He had lost all power to his yacht, no engine power and no VHF radio and he had not slept for three days.

The man had experienced difficulties off Hartland Point in the fog, and then between Ilfracombe and Burnham where he had lost power and radio and his sails ripped.

We would always recommend that sailors let the Coastguard have a passage plan and register their craft and shore contact on the Coastguard CG66 scheme.

If you find yourself in trouble and have lost use of your radio, call for help using other alerting means such as distress flares.

If you see anyone in trouble at sea or on the coast dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats Team

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