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RNLI rescue lone yachtsman from sea

RNLI rescue lone yachtsman from sea

Friday 27 July 2018

RNLI rescue lone yachtsman from sea

Both RNLI St Helier lifeboats had to be launched this week to pull a lone yachtsman from the sea after what's described as an "extensive search."

The incident has prompted the charity to remind all boat users of the importance of safety equipment, including a lifejacket.

 On Thursday, just after midnight, Jersey Coastguard received a call from a sailor who said he was drifting in his tender and was separated from his yacht which was just to the south of St. Helier.

The yachstman only had a mobile phone to communicate and was concerned about how much battery he had left. The light north-easterly wind was blowing the man away from Jersey and the RNLI crew decided to launch both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats.

After an extensive search, which included launching two white illumination flares, the man was eventually located by the all-weather lifeboat, three miles south of Noirmont Point. He was taken on board and brought to St. Helier where he was met by an ambulance as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, the inshore lifeboat located the sailor's yacht which was then towed back to St. Helier.  

Following the rescue mission,Paul Mimmack, Deputy Launch Authority for St Helier RNLI said: "This search and rescue mission highlights the importance of carrying the right safety equipment on board not only the main vessel, but also tenders and dinghys, if there is a journey of any length being undertaken or if there are no persons left aboard the main vessel. 

"In this case, conditions were favourable and the outcome was a good one, but the yachtsman did not have a handheld VHF (very high frequency radio), which would have allowed for direction-finding equipment to obtain a bearing, nor any means of illumination such as a flare, which would obviously have helped locate him and his dinghy. His one means of communication was a mobile phone which is only effective where there is a signal and then only if it has sufficient battery and has not become water-damaged."

Mr Mimmack added: "We would also like to take the opportunity to remind all boat users of the importance of having and wearing a lifejacket, which will help keep anyone in the water afloat and provide a bigger target for search and rescue teams to locate."

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