A Day in the Life of the Coastguard- Lone yachtsman search
by Fred Caygill, MCA on 8 Apr 2011
At 3pm yesterday (Thursday),the UK's Portland Coastguard received a VHF call from a vessel on passage from Portland to Par who had intercepted a VHF radio call from a yacht. The skipper of the vessel Sea Seeker passed information received from the yacht.
A day in the life of... .. .
The skipper of the yacht had been calling on his radio but his signal was not being received by the Coastguard possibly due to weak radio signal.
The skipper of Sea Seeker relayed information from the lone yachtsman, who was reporting that he had engine failure and was drifting. He also was passing coordinates that were inaccurate.
MRCC Brixham and MRCC Portland carried out a communications search and initiated VHF Broadcasts to locate the single-handed Yacht Blue Days reportedly suffering mechanical failure, becalmed and unsure of its position whilst on passage from Dover to Largs, Scotland.
Enquiries revealed that the yacht had been purchased two weeks ago in Dover and no current details of the new owner were held on Coastguard databases (CG66).
Just before 10pm, MRCC Brixham managed to contact the vessel by mobile phone. All was well on board but assistance was still required as the vessel had no power, was unable to sail and still not able to give an accurate position.
In order to locate the casualty vessel, the yachtsman was instructed to activate the on-board emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). Once this had been done, an accurate position was obtained and Torbay RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch to the casualty and tow it back safely to Brixham.
Brixham Watch Manager, Mark Satchell said:
It is important to keep vessel ownership records updated and to contact Coastguard stations to pass passage information details to assist in locating vessels should an incident occur. It helps us to help you.
The 77 year old lone yachtsman has been invited to the Operations room after getting a good nights sleep so the Coastguard can help him with a passage plan and set up a communications schedule to assist him in his voyage to Scotland.
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