St Mary’s RNLI lifeboat launched to rescue damaged vessel
St Mary’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew rescued two sailors from their damaged trimaran yacht 41 miles south of the Isles of Scilly in the early hours of this morning, Monday 6 July.
Following a call for assistance from a satellite beacon that the stricken crew had been able to set off, the St Mary’s volunteer crew launched in rough seas shortly after midnight. They arrived at 2:15 am where the HM Coastguard Rescue 924 helicopter was already at the scene. The trimaran yacht had suffered catastrophic hull failure and had capsized as a result with two people onboard.
Due to the weather conditions and the state of the vessel any attempt at winching the two casualties off the stricken yacht onto the helicopter was considered to be too dangerous. Any use of smaller vessels to get close was also deemed too dangerous due to the rigging and materials in the water around the yacht.
On that basis, it was decided that the two should enter the water in dry suits and pulled onto the lifeboat on a rope line. This operation was carried out successfully and both members of the casualty crew were pulled to safety by the volunteers onto the RNLI lifeboat The Whiteheads unharmed and in good spirits.
All Covid-19 procedures were adhered to and the French crew were transported back to St Mary’s harbour and handed into the care of the Council of the Isles of Scilly where they were supplied with a place of rest, clothing and food while arrangements were made to transport them home.
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, in a normal year, 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.