Practical Boat Owner: Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) rescuers were called to assist two yachts in distress yesterday after one ran aground and another hit the submarine barrier in The Solent.
The 33ft yacht, with two people on board, was listing at a 45-degree angle after hitting the sand bank in a falling tide.
GAFIRS coxswain Brian Pack said: ‘We sent a crew member to investigate the situation and found the crew of the casualty vessel were safe and well. They were happy to wait for the tide to rise and attempt to refloat themselves.
‘While we were dealing with this situation we were tasked to another emergency after a yacht hit the submarine barrier off Southsea and issued a Mayday distress call.’
Gosport lifeboat was on the scene within minutes and placed a member of crew on the casualty vessel, which had two people on board and had sailed across the Channel from France.
Mr Pack added: ‘The yacht lost steering after hitting the barrier and was in a precarious place. We quickly towed the vessel to safer water and then on to Haslar Marina in Portsmouth Harbour.
Once the French yacht was safely alongside, Gosport lifeboat was making its way back to its Stokes Bay base when UK Coastguard re-tasked the rescuers to the yacht stuck at Ryde.
‘We waited with the casualty vessel for the tide to rise and then when there was enough water we towed them free,’ said Mr Pack.
‘My crew member made sure their engines started and helped them navigate to Portsmouth Harbour. They were very grateful for our assistance.’
In total the two operations lasted more than four hours.
Yachting Boating World: The couple remain in a stable condition in hospital after their yacht hit power lines on the Isle of Harris, Western Isles in Scotland.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) received a call just after 3pm on 12 June from the Scottish Ambulance Service requiring assistance.
Coastguard shore teams from Tarbert and Scalpay responded, helping paramedics in getting one of the casualities from the yacht into an ambulance.
The couple were taken to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, Lewis, where they are said to be in a stable condition.
A spokesman for the MCA said the yacht was between two power cables.
Engineers from Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution were called in to remove the mast and make the area safe.
A spokesman for the electric company said: “Our engineers attended Ardhasaig, where the mast of a yacht had struck our overhead line. The boat was being moved with its mast fully erect and struck the line.”
He added: “Industry regulations state that the minimum height of power lines should be 5.8 metres across roads and paths, the line that was struck was 7.3 metres from the ground. In order for our engineers to extricate the mast from the line, the power was turned off for approximately one hour.”
Practical Boat Owner: One yachtsman was killed, another lost overboard and three rescued from the 65ft yacht Platino, in extreme conditions off the coast of New Zealand.
Yesterday, the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) was alerted at 11.20am that one man had been killed and another man knocked overboard from the 20m Platino, which sustained serious rigging damage in winds of up to 75km/h (40 knots).
Sea conditions were described as ‘extremely dangerous’ and ‘too hazardous to be on deck’. The search area is out of range to all but fixed wing aircraft.
A search by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) got under way yesterday for the missing crewman, aged 63, who is believed to have been swept overboard after being hit by the boom in high winds, which later caused the yacht’s rigging to collapse before midday yesterday.
The body of the man who died remained on board – as his fellow crew tried to secure the rigging and the mast that was drifting alongside the yacht.
The RCCNZ kept in contact with the three remaining crew overnight via satellite phone.
The container ship Southern Lily re-routed and a rescue line was used to help get the trio safely on board around 3pm today.
Meanwhile, an RNZAF P3 Orion resumed searching today for the missing sailor.
The aircraft subsequently took position above the two vessels later this morning, to provide support and communications during the rescue of the three crew from Platino.
Practical Boat Owner: A solo sailor called for RNLI assistance twice in 24 hours after his yacht became grounded on the rocks and when he managed to refloat, a damaged propeller left him drifting helplessly towards Yarmouth Pier.
The single-handed skipper, had run aground on Hamstead Ledge rocks in the western Solent during Friday afternoon.
As the tide dropped, the yacht heeled over steeply with the result that the skipper could not deploy his anchor in preparation for refloating.
He called for assistance at 6.30pm and the lifeboat went to his aid. The small rigid inflatable Y boat (RIB) was launched and deployed the anchor for him. It was estimated that he would refloat around 1.30am.
At 3.30am on Saturday morning, the lifeboat was called again to Wallybird II.
Although the skipper had managed to pull himself clear of the rocks as his yacht floated, it was only then that he discovered that his propeller had been damaged and he was unable to manoeuvre.
There was little or no wind so he was also unable to sail and was drifting helplessly towards Yarmouth Pier. The lifeboat reached him just before 4am and took him in tow into Yarmouth where he arrived safely at 4.30am.
Practical Boat Owner: Coastal fatality figures released today by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show the number of deaths at the UK coast reached a five-year high in 2015, with 168 people losing their lives.
The number of near-fatal incidents was higher still, with the RNLI’s UK lifeboat crews and lifeguards saving 385 lives in 2015, according to the organisation’s incident data.
The figures are released as the charity enters the third year of its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which aims to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024.
The campaign is targeted at adult men, who account for most incidents. Last year saw an increase in the number of men losing their lives at the coast. Between 2011 and 2014 men have accounted for 75% of coastal deaths but, in 2015, this increased to 84%.
Around half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water. Of the 168 deaths last year, more than half (52%) did not intend to get wet – people taking part in activities such as coastal walking, running, climbing or angling.
Coastal walking and running accounted for 21% of last year’s coastal deaths.
A father’s story
Phil Bindon’s son Mike was lost at sea in 2014, aged 23, after being swept in by an unexpected wave. Phil and his daughters Katie and Jenny are sharing the story of their personal tragedy, to warn others of the power and unpredictability of the water. Phil says:
‘Mike and his friend were at the coast at Polzeath. A freak wave caught Mike and swept him into the water. The lifeboats and helicopter were out searching for hours. I just wanted Mike back home. It was very hard as a parent to know that he was out there somewhere and there was nothing I could do about getting him back.
‘Mike’s body has never been found. It breaks my heart. No one expects to lose a child. An accident like this is a tragedy that I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through. I want people to learn from Mike’s death and understand how dangerously unpredictable the sea can be. Accidents like this can happen to anyone.’
The main dangers the RNLI is warning people about while at the coast are cold water, slips and falls, rip currents and waves.
James Millidge, RNLI coastal safety manager, says: ‘People need to treat the water with respect – it’s powerful and unpredictable. Each year RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards save hundreds of lives but, sadly, not everyone can be saved. Over 160 lives are lost at the UK coast each year and the real tragedy of the situation is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.
‘Cold water is a real killer. People often don’t realise how cold our seas can be – even in summer months the sea temperature rarely exceeds 12oc, which is low enough to trigger cold water shock. If you enter the water suddenly at that temperature, you’ll start gasping uncontrollably, which can draw water into your lungs and cause drowning. The coldness also numbs you, leaving you helpless – unable to swim or shout for help.
‘The fact that over half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water suggests people are also not taking enough care along the coastline itself. We’re warning people to stay away from cliff edges, particularly where there is slippery, unstable or uneven ground; stick to marked paths and keep an eye on the water – watch out for unexpected waves which can catch you out and sweep you into the water.
‘If you’re planning to get into the water be aware that, even if it looks calm on the surface, there can be strong rip currents beneath the surface, which can quickly drag you out to sea. The sea is powerful and can catch out even the strongest and most experienced swimmers.’
Double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell is supporting the campaign. He says: ‘UK coastline is beautiful and should be enjoyed – but it’s really important that people treat the water with respect. From personal experience I know how powerful and unpredictable the sea can be. A seemingly calm situation can quickly turn into the exact opposite. We’re urging people to be aware of the danger.’
The charity is asking people to visit RNLI.org/RespectTheWater where they will find information on coastal hazards, how to keep themselves safe, and what to do should they or someone else end up in trouble in the water. On social media search #RespectTheWater.
Practical Boat Owner: Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched their all-weather lifeboat early yesterday morning to rescue the crew of a fishing vessel which was sinking approximately 2.5 miles west of Walney Island.
The request to launch the lifeboat came from Holyhead Coastguard at 2.50am, following a report that a 10.5 metre-long catamaran had collided with an offshore wind farm turbine, and was taking on water.
The three crew on board had deployed their liferaft and were preparing to abandon the vessel when the lifeboat reached them.
One of the crew, a 58-year-old man, sustained a head injury as a result of the collision, which occurred while the catamaran was on passage from Ravenglass.
The Barrow Lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 2.59am under the command of Coxswain Shaun Charnley with crew Jonny Long, Kate Lawty, Dave Kell, Mark Harper, Adam Cleasby and Alan Cleasby.
The lifeboat crew reached the stricken vessel at 3.20am. Seven minutes later all three fishing boat crew had been transferred safely onto the lifeboat.
A search and rescue helicopter also scrambled, however, once the lifeboat had manoeuvred clear of the windfarm site and after a further assessment it was decided to return the casualty to the lifeboat station and the helicopter was stood down.The lifeboat returned to the station at 3.56am and by 4.07am the casualty was being transported by ambulance to Furness General Hospital.
The lifeboat was then re-launched and returned to the fishing vessel. The lifeboat volunteers found the catamaran to be very low in the water on the starboard side.
At 5am the lifeboat had the vessel under tow although it was still taking on water.
John Falvey, Barrow Lifeboat operations manager, said ‘The vessel was listing badly when the lifeboat arrived having taken on sea water. The crew were about to abandon the vessel but we transferred them safely to the lifeboat which then took them to Barrow Lifeboat Station so that the injured skipper could be treated at hospital. The lifeboat then returned to deal with the damaged vessel which was in danger of sinking.’
The vessel was taken under tow and ‘very slowly and carefully moved closer to the west side of Walney Island where it was anchored so as not to be a hazard to other shipping in the area’.
Yachting Boating World: Officers with the New South Wales Police Force are searching for the owner of FireFly. The yacht was found drifting off the state’s northern coast.
A man came across the yacht in shallow water at Samurai Beach. When he could not find anyone on board, he towed the vessel out to deeper water and anchored it.
The man then contacted Marine Rescue and Marine Area Command at around 3pm. The police believe that a 48-year-old man from Tasmania may have been residing on the FireFly.
A large scale search to find him started today, 18 May. It involved officers attached to Marine Area Command and Port Stephens Water Police, with assistance from Volunteer Marine Rescue, Surf Lifesaving, Westpac Rescue Helicopter and local police.
The search covered an area from Nelson Bay to Stockton Beach. It was suspended at 3pm local time and is expected to resume on 19 May.
“At 8am tomorrow (Thursday 19 May 2016), officers attached to Marine Area Command with assistance from Port Stephens Water Police will conduct a recovery search,” said a New South Wales Police Force spokesman.
“Due to conditions of the water, it is unlikely the 48-year-old man was able to survive,”continued the spokesman.
Detectives are continuing with inquiries regarding the FireFly. Officers believe the yacht may have been around Lemon Tree Passage on the morning of 17 May.
Yachting Boating World: Work has now finished to save the 14,000 square feet of damaged coral in the Cayman Islands that was hit by the billionaire’s $162 million mega-yacht Tatoosh in January.
The emergency restoration work on the protected reef was jointly administered by the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan Inc. and The Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DoE). The work was carried out by Polaris Applied Sciences.
The Polaris team reattached 1,600 organisms, including hundreds of hard and soft corals and sponges.
The work to triage the area, which local officials say was damaged by the mega-yacht’s anchor and chain on January 14, included stabilising and removing rubble, re-creating structures, and rescuing and reattaching as much living coral as possible. More than 30 tonnes of cement and sand, along with eight tonnes of rubble, were used in the operation, says Vulcan Inc. in a statement.
The project, which took 300 hours over 24 days, was overseen by Dr. Harold Hudson, formerly of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a world leader in restoration of coral habitats.
“The reef remediation by Polaris Applied Sciences was an experienced-based approach to help minimise the damage and improve the likelihood of coral recovery in the area,” said Dr. Hudson. “The swift implementation of this plan provides the greatest chance for recovery of the affected area and I commend both Vulcan and the DoE for their efforts to help ensure its rapid completion.”
A coral restoration expert, William Precht, has been hired by The Cayman Islands Department of Environment to continue to oversee the project and monitor the area.
Practical Boat Owner: A Scottish man and an Irish woman has died yesterday in the West Coast of South Africa, when their yacht capsized off Western Cape.
An NSRI sea rescue craft was then launched and rescue vehicles from the South African Police Services, EMS rescue squad, Police Dive Unit and WC Government Health responded and found the yacht Tara broken up amongst rocks on the shore line.
It is still unknown what caused the yacht to run aground and the South African Maritime Safety Authority will continue to investigate, as it could not be confirmed if the yacht had capsized before running aground.
On board the yacht were three crew members reportedly sailing from Langebaan to Cape Town.
There was one survivor, an 66-year-old Irish man, a resident in the Western Cape, he had managed to get to shore and raised the alarm. He was not injured.
The bodies of a 61-year-old Scotsman, and a 49-year-old Irish woman, both also residents in the Western Cape, were recovered from the scene and Paramedics confirmed that they were both dead.
Pratical Boat Owner: A blaze that devastated a 34ft yacht at Deganwy Quays was caused by an electrical fault, fire investigators have said.
A spokesman for North Wales Fire & Rescue Service said the call came in at 3.51pm on Saturday, 19 September to report that the sailing boat was on fire.
A person was on board the yacht, Sandpiper of Hamble, when the fire started and tried to extinguish the fire themselves before evacuating the boat.
Two fire engines from Llandudno attended the incident. Crews found the yacht to be well alight, moored alongside a jetty,and tackled the blaze using one hose reel and two main reel jets. The fire was extinguished by 6pm.
The fire service spokesman added: ‘There was someone on board when the fire started, they tried to tackle it themselves and then evacuated the boat.
‘It was an accidental fire, due to an electrical fault. The coastguard were informed.’