Please select your home edition
Edition
Harken HL Snatch Block 728x90

One more day in the life of Brixham Coastguard

by Daily Mail/Sail-World Cruising on 26 May 2013
Ushant and Devon SW
It is a quiet moment in Britain's Brixham Coastguard control room Thursday evening this week. Coffee is hot, chilled air outside. The 'red' line rings, signalling some emergency at sea, and the junior Coastguard officer on watch answers it swiftly.

'Please name your vessel and position sir.'

'Sir the line is crackling, I didn't catch what you said. It sounded like 'Crediton, Devon'. That's the name of the yacht?'

The senior officer glances up from his book.

'OK ok speak slowly please sir, It's not the name of the yacht. You're a Christopher Tucker, a builder's merchant in Crediton Devon? Do I have that correct?'

'Sir could you speak more slowly. You say there's a person fallen overboard, but you live in Crediton Devon. Where is the person fallen overboard sir? With respect you are nowhere near the sea.'

Now the senior officer is paying attention.

There is a long pause while the junior officer listens.

'Let me get this straight, sir, so we can assist you. Someone has fallen off a yacht off the coast of France and they have called YOU because they can't understand the French coastguard?'

The senior officer has dropped his book and is getting up from his comfortable chair.

'Yes, that's correct sir they would be speaking French. Are you a relative? No, the person still on board is a CUSTOMER? No it doesn't matter, just tell me the facts. I see sir, just repeat it slowly - the yacht is Caprice? off the coast of Ushant in France? and the coordinates? Very good. Slowly and clearly please. Thank you. Now stay on the line please sir. Yes, sir, we have people here who can speak French, they've been learning specially you see. Yes sir, don't worry sir, I am giving your information to the right people as we speak.'

...and the Brixham Coastguard sprrings into action.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the search for the missing yachtsman involved, as well as the Brixham Coastguard, a French lifeboat, two search and rescue helicopters, a fixed-wing aircraft, along with two naval vessels - from France and Germany - that happened to be in the area at the time.

He was rescued by the German warship and then airlifted to hospital in France.

'The man who fell overboard was wearing a lifejacket and also a type of wet suit, which undoubtedly saved his life,' the MCA said.

Mr Tucker, whose actions were praised by Brixham Coastguard and his employers, said he was glad both men were safe.

'It wasn't sounding too good for a while,' he said. 'I'm not quite sure why he called me,' Mr Tucker said.

'It was quite difficult to hear him because it was so windy, but he just kept repeating coordinates and times.

'He said he couldn't understand the French coastguards and they didn't understand him.'

Mr Tucker said he had seen his customer on Tuesday so knew he was planning a sailing trip.

'He'd told me he was going on his friend's yacht and they were going to take it down to the south of France to leave it there for the summer, then get the ferry back,' he said.

Mr Tucker stayed on the phone to his customer while Brixham Coastguards liaised with the French authorities. The man is now being treated for hypothermia in hospital.

The stricken yacht was towed back to harbour by the French lifeboat. The names of the sailors have not been revealed.

BandG AUS Triton2 660x82Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82Sail Exchange 660x82 New Sails

Related Articles

Sixteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - en route Panama
Still here, parked day or two, Cane Garden Bay BVI. Wonderful Bay, nice beach restaurants and bars. Still here, parked day or two, Cane Garden Bay BVI. Wonderful Bay, nice beach restaurants and bars. On the main Island Tortola. ‘Road Town’, the capital of British Virgin Islands is on the other side of the Island. To get from Cane Garden to Road Town (by taxi) is over hills. Big hills. With much vegetation.
Posted on 26 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.
Posted on 25 Apr
Fifteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - BVIs
I am on the yacht. Back on air with the iridium. Paul Stratfold, with his partner Shiralee, plus owner and his friend I am on the yacht. Back on air with the iridium. Paul Stratfold, with his partner Shiralee, plus owner and his friend (another Paul from Hawaii). Are on the specially constructed 60ft catamaran named 'Gizmo'. Carbon fibre hull, carbon fibre mast, carbon fibre rigging, carbon fibre sails. There are no turnbuckles with the rigging (holding the mast up). Just Dyneema lashing.
Posted on 19 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience
This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. As time unfolds some more, we learn that indeed there are a lot of reasons you need to apply patience with both your dealings with your insurance company, and also all the many trades that are working feverishly to get all the jobs done.
Posted on 19 Apr
Fourteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - British Virgin Isles
32 days back I departed the British Island of Saint Helena. Clearing port, customs, immigration simple. Jon has arrived in the BVI ahead of his estimated arrival. He had somehow managed to completely disconnect from the on-board communication system that they set up for him, and as a result we didn't have communication with him while he was at sea. of course, that is nothing strange for Jon, and perhaps he wanted it to be more like his circumnavigations of old? Hmmmm.... Accidentally on purpose?
Posted on 12 Apr
A very difficult day - Got fuel to Cape Town
Well after my dismasting I have spent the last two days motoring North towards Cape Town trying to collect myself Well after my dismasting I have spent the last two days motoring North towards Cape Town trying to collect myself and to intercept Hong Kong container ship M/V Far Eastern Mercury who had been diverted by Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Cape Town (MRCC Cape Town) when I had issued a Pan-Pan during my dismasting.
Posted on 8 Apr
Debbie says there are 7Ps and 1C with Insurance
Debbie says there are 7Ps and 1C with Insurance If you have been on the planet or around boats long enough, you’ll know all about the 7Ps. The one ‘C’ mentioned here refers to consequence, and in the legalese that surrounds insurance, it gets applied distinctly to consequential damage. We’ll come back to all of that in a while, but for now, our mission is to look at the consequences of actions prior to TC Debbie making landfall.
Posted on 5 Apr
Lisa Blair heads to Cape Town under motor following dismasting
A PAN PAN was called at 0300 (AET) / 1900 (SAST) signalling an urgent threat to her safety and this remains in place. Lisa Blair has assessed the damage to her yacht, Climate Action Now, after being dismasted 895 nm south of Cape Town in 40 knot winds and seven metre swells early in the morning of April 4, 2017. She made a PAN PAN call over the radio at approximately 0300 (AET) / 1900 (SAST) signalling an urgent threat to her safety and this remains in place.
Posted on 4 Apr
Queensland Cyclone – Hamilton Island faces massive five-month rebuild
Hamilton Island chief executive Glenn Bourke yesterday told almost 600 staff of the massive task ahead to clean-up Hamilton Island faces a massive five-month rebuild but will partly reopen for business next Saturday after “all hell broke loose”. Exclusive pictures obtained by The Sunday Mail shows the “apocalyptic” scale of destruction to privately owned homes, luxury hotels and yachts at ground zero in the cyclone-ravaged Whitsundays.
Posted on 2 Apr
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracking southwards today, bringing rain
Heavy rain and flooding is expected as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves south-east. Heavy rain and flooding is expected as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves south-east. A Flood Watch has been issued for coastal catchments between Gladstone in Queensland and Bellingen in northern New South Wales. The Flood Watch extends inland to parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Central West, Maranoa and Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt forecast districts...
Posted on 29 Mar