Practical Boat Owner: A single-handed yachtsman made a distress call to Humber Coastguard after his engine failed following rough weather.
The helicopter crew spoke to the sailor who explained he had taken on quite a lot of water in bad weather through the night and his yacht’s engine was now not working. He was happy and fit enough to stay aboard but would need a tow back to safety.
The coastguard requested the launch of Humber RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat at around 4pm on Monday night. At 61 miles the lifeboat would take the best part of three hours to reach the man and his vessel so en route the crew worked where the vessel was likely to drift to.
While nearing the area, the lifeboat crew contacted the casualty and used their direction finding equipment to confirm the yacht’s location.
On scene, lifeboat crew were put aboard to assess the skipper and the yacht’s condition; thankfully the yachtsmen had done a good job of clearing the water and just needed the lifeboat’s assistance to get back the shore.
The sailor was put aboard the lifeboat and two RNLI crew stayed to attach the tow. After approximately 11 hours towing back to the river Humber, the yacht was put alongside and into the safety of Grimsby.
At 6.50am yesterday morning the RNLI Humber Lifeboat crew returned back to their station at Spurn point after 14 hours at sea.
Glenn Peterson Crew at Humber said: ‘Thankfully on this occasion the gentlemen was able to contact the coastguard and get the help required, we encourage everyone going out to sea to ensure they have a means of distress call available and that equipment is appropriate for the area you are in.’
Practical Boat Owner: A single-handed yachtsman has praised RNLI Castletownbere rescuers for saving his life after he got into difficulties 45 miles south of Mizen head in West Cork.
The lifeboat volunteers spent more than 12 hours battling storm-force conditions after the sailor activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) identify his location, raise the alarm and seek help.
The Castletownbere lifeboat, Annette Hutton, launched at 8am on Saturday morning, 20 August, after Valentia Coast Guard Radio requested assistance for the yachtsman.
The eight-metre (26ft) yacht had left the Azores in early August. The sailor, aged in his sixties, had been in regular radio contact with Valentia Coast Guard radio until Saturday morning when his VHF radio was washed overboard. He activated an EPIRB to identify his location, raise the alarm and seek help.
The lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll, located the casualty at 10.40am. 50 miles south-west of Castletownbere. The Coast Guard helicoptor also attended the incident.
Conditions were described as ‘gusting Force 8/9 winds with a 30ft swell’. The yacht was taken under tow and the lifeboat proceeded slowly to Castletownbere in challenging sea conditions.
Early into the tow lifeboat crew became concerned about the well being of the sailor and crew managed to transfer him to the lifeboat. The lifeboat, with the damaged yacht in tow, returned to Castletownbere at 8.30pm. having been at sea for 12 and a half hours.
The sailor thanked the Castletownbere lifeboat and all involved for ‘saving his life’. He said: ‘only for the lifeboat, things would have ended up very badly today’.
Castletownbere lifeboat operations manager Tony O’Sullivan said: ‘The coxswain and crew are to be complimented on the rescue – they demonstrated skill, seamanship and endurance during what was a long and challenging day.’
Yachting Boating World: A man in his 30s was rescued by a passing jogger after he was spotted close to a partially submerged boat at Greve D’Azette, Jersey. A submerged car was also found.
Parker swam out to assist the man, helping him back to the partially submerged boat.
The pair were then quickly picked up by the Jersey Fire Service’s inshore rescue boat which had been launched.
The police and coastguard were also on the scene, having been alerted at around 6am by members of the public. The man, who is in his 30s, is now recovering in hospital.
A completely submerged car was also discovered at Greve D’Azette Slipway.
It has now been marked with a red buoy after a search by divers found there was no one trapped inside.
The vehicle was not visible from the shore as it was completely covered by the fast flowing incoming tide.The boat has now been towed ashore.
Jersey Fire and Rescue praised the quick actions of Parker. Crew commander Craig Channing said: “There is no doubt that the swift and selfless actions of the passer by saved this young person’s life.”
“By swimming out and rescuing the casualty and climbing aboard the partly submerged vessel with the casualty, he ensured the casualty had the best chance of survival and his actions are to be commended,” continued the crew commander.
“This incident utilised a lot of different agencies who all came together to resolve this incident and demonstrated the interoperability of the Uniformed Services, Ports of Jersey and the Infrastructure Department to bring this incident to a successful conclusion,” concluded Channing.
The cause of this incident is currently being investigated by States of Jersey Police in liaison with Jersey Coastguard.
Yachting Boating World: Two septuagenarian yachtsmen have required assistance of lifeboat crews seven times on their trip from Scandinavia to North America since July. The yachtsmen were recently picked up off the Cornish coast.
The yachtsmen from North America have called rescue teams in Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Scotland and twice now in Cornwall. On Tuesday 19 January, the Falmouth Coastguard sent St Ives Lifeboat team out to tow their sailboat, Nora, back to marina.
The yachtsmen, Bob Weise and Steve Shapiro, both 71 years, told the BBC their rescues have had nothing to do with their seamanship abilities, but saying they have just had bad luck.
According to the St Ives Lifeboat team, Bob Weise and Steve Shapiro called for help when their sailboat lost propulsion and was drifting 1.5 miles north of Corwall’s southwestern tip.
Their sailboat Nora had a broken propeller shaft and a faulty battery, and was moored in a safe spot outside the marina for repairs.
A spokeswoman from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed they had responded on two occasions over three days to assist the crew of the Nora.
Pratical Boat Owner: A family of six were rescued from a yacht which became adrift in rough weather and ran aground off the Pembrokeshire coast. Angle RNLI lifeboat crew launched at 12.47am last Friday, 2 April, following a Mayday call from the 11-metre yacht.
The All Weather Lifebat (ALB) was unable to get close enough due to the shallow water so the Y Boat was launched and maneuvered alongside the yacht in up to 2.4 metre breaking swell to evacuate the two adults and four children on board.
After several attempts, and often being swamped by the waves, the Y Boat made four successful transfers of the casualties onto the ALB.
The casualties, who were ‘wet, cold and shaken by their ordeal’, were taken to Milford Haven Port Authority (MHPA) Jetty where they were helped by awaiting auxiliary coastguards.
With the yacht’s crew safe ashore the ALB went back to the scene, with the skipper on board, to liaise with the inshore lifeboat (ILB) in an attempt to tow the yacht to safety but due to the sea conditions no attempt was made.
The ILB returned to station whilst the ALB landed the skipper ashore at the MHPA before returning to station at 2.47am.
Yachting & Boating World: Six crew with just one lifejacket between them were rescued off the coast of Devon after their motorboat capsized.
The RNLI and local fishermen worked together to help the stricken crew, two adults and four teenagers, following the incident on Sunday. Exmouth lifeboat was called to the scene at around 1.15pm after a volunteer spotted the upturned boat in the sea.
Meanwhile, five of the crew were rescued by a nearby fishing boat and a sixth was picked up by a passing yacht and later transferred to the RNLI lifeboat. Once in Exmouth Marina, all six crew were checked over by paramedics and ambulance staff for cold water shock.
Brixham Coastguard’s Andy Huber warned that all boat users should wear lifejackets, saying: “It’s very serious, if you do not wear a lifejacket you have the chance of drowning.” An RNLI lifeguard aboard a personal watercraft stood by the drifting vessel, which was then towed part sunken, ashore to Rodney Bay by the inshore lifeboat.