Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Generic

Bay of Biscay rescue prompts plea from Coastguard

by Joanne Rawling/Sail-World Cruising on 23 Apr 2013
Mariette under full sail - photo by YCCS .. .
The classic schooner that won Britain's 2012 Pendessnis Cup has had to come to the aid of a lone Norwegian sailor in the Bay of Biscay, an incident which has prompt the British Coastguard to make yet another plea for sailors to be equipped with communication equipment when they leave port. While the sailor's EPIRB enabled rescuers to locate the distressed yacht, the lack of a VHF radio made it difficult to proceed with the rescue.

The Bay of Biscay is known as treacherous by those who sail there, owing to the steep shallowing of the water as it approaches the French shore. The lone sailor on the Norwegian yacht Ghost, taking on water, sent out a distress alert which was picked up by Falmouth Coastguard.

They then made an an emergency broadcast via Inmarsat just after 10pm last night (Monday 22 April), when the vessel was 220 nautical miles south west of the Isles of Scilly.

A number of vessels responded and Falmouth Coastguard also liaised with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) in France and Spain. The French authorities sent a fixed wing aircraft, but they were unable to communicate with the Ghost via VHF radio.

It was then that the graceful superyacht yacht, Mariette, itself from Falmouth but which was sailing in the area, was spotted by the French aircraft and asked to assist. The Mariette was able to get alongside the Ghost and passed over a handheld VHF radio which enabled the yachtsman to communicate with those assisting him.

Two crew from the Mariette also boarded the yacht and managed to pump the bilges dry. The skipper is now resting, with the Mariette staying alongside, before the yacht continues on its journey to La Coruna later today.

Simon Dennis, Watch Officer at Falmouth Coastguard, said:

'This incident demonstrates how important it is to be well equipped when you head out to sea. We recommend that owners of leisure vessels are fully equipped with all the necessary communications equipment and life saving apparatus.

'Having an EPIRB meant this yachtsman was located quickly, however he did not have a VHF handheld radio to be able to communicate with those that responded to his distress call.

'All EPIRBs should be registered with their country of origin, as this enables search and rescue authorities to have all the details they need in the event of emergency.'

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Schaefer 2016 660x82NaiadT Clewring Cruising