Lone yachtsman rescued by St Mary's lifeboat in horrific conditions
Following a shout at 5 am on 31st October, the volunteer crew of St. Mary's lifeboat rescued a lone French yachtsman in a force 9 gale.
The 34 foot yacht had previously capsized and rolled in what the yachtsman described as a freak wave. A Coastguard helicopter was tasked from Newquay and reported flying against 72 knots of headwind as they made their way to the stricken vessel about 6 miles south of the islands.
Once the lifeboat was on the scene, the coxswain, Peter Hicks, assessed that the situation was too dangerous to go alongside because of the conditions that he described as "lively." With difficulty, a tow was eventually attached and the slow tow began in the enormous swell to the shelter of St. Mary's harbour. The lifeboat and the yacht arrived alongside the quay at 08.30 where the lifeboat was refuelled ready for service once more.
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.