Mayday call sparks multi agency search involving Plymouth and Salcombe RNLI
Plymouth and Salcombe RNLI volunteer crew launched on service this morning (11 June) following a Mayday request to Falmouth Coastguard. A sailing vessel suffering engine failure requiring immediate assistance 30 nautical miles south of Plymouth Sound.
Rescue helicopter 924 from Newquay located the casualty vessel and directed the Plymouth All Weather lifeboat (ALB) to its position using the EPIRB system activated by the sailing vessel's crew.
Upon reaching the vessel in rough sea conditions, it was found that the sails had blown through due to a squall and with no engine, the yacht was stranded in high winds and big seas. A helicopter winchman was lowered on to the deck of the vessel to check that all was well with the three people on board, and they were confirmed to be safe and well.
The Plymouth ALB capable of 25 knots with its two 1250hp engines and Coxswain Dave Milford at the helm was soon on scene with the casualty vessel. A tow was established with the casualty vessel and began the long tow back to Salcombe.
Salcombe’s Tamar class All Weather Lifeboat The Baltic Exchange III took over the tow from Plymouth ALB back into Salcombe harbour with Plymouth ALB providing an escort due to the weather conditions. After some three hours at sea and working through extremely bad sea conditions the yacht was safely brought back into Salcombe Harbour.
Sean Marshall (2nd Coxswain) said: 'Luckily the yacht was equipped with emergency equipment including an EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) with when activated sends a distress alert with vessel identification and position direct to Coastguard’s via satellite - combined with a VHF marine radio this equipment allowed a prompt and effective joint agency response by coastguard, helicopter and lifeboat crews. The yacht crew did exactly the right thing by calling for assistance before the situation worsened.'
RNLI Plymouth, RNLI Salcombe, Helicopter Rescue924 from Newquay, HMS Scott and Fishing vessel Provider as well as some other vessels in the area assisted in the search for the casualty vessel.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone John Baldry, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07792649768 or John_Baldry@rnli.org.uk or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.