Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

DSC-connected VHF aids speedy rescue after dismasting

by Joanne Groenenberg/Sail-World Cruising on 6 Apr 2012
Mini Transat Betelguese rescue - yacht was left with sea anchor in the hope of later retrieval .. .
French sailor Louis Segre who was sailing a 6.5 Mini Transat yacht in gale force weather has been speedily rescued this week 26 miles south of the Isles of Scilly off the south western tip of England because of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) technology. His sailing boat Betelgeuse had been dismasted in the five metre seas.

Falmouth Coastguard was alerted to the sailor’s plight at 4.00 pm, after receiving a VHF digital selective calling (DSC) alert which significantly aided a speedy rescue. The Whiteheads, under the command of coxswain Phil Woodcock was launched at 4.14pm

Because the sailor used DSC connected to a GPS transponder, coastguards received an instant accurate position and put out a broadcast to all shipping asking for assistance from vessels in the area.

The car carrier ‘Aquamarine Ace’ responded and offered to go to the assistance of the yacht, which was half an hour away.

Because of the yacht's dismasting communication over any distance was difficult, so as well as the ship providing a lee to the yacht, they were also able to communicate information from the yacht to the coastguard.

Meanwhile, Falmouth Coastguard had requested St Mary’s RNLI lifeboat to launch. The lifeboat was an hour away in rough weather with a five metre swell. The 7-man volunteer crew immediately launched and arrived at the scene at 6.40pm. Once the lifeboat arrived on scene, the sailor was rescued from his yacht and taken back to St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly.

Not to be half-hearted about the rescue, he was then accommodated in the Star Castle Hotel overnight (one of the RNLI volunteers was associated with the hotel).

The five-metre seas had meant that a tow was not possible. So before abandoning the yacht a sea-anchor was put out in the hope of recovering her, and a navigation warning promulgated.

Terry Collins, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager says:
'In an emergency situation, using VHF DSC makes a massive difference to how quickly we might be able to get rescue resources to vessels in distress. A VHF DSC alert gives us an instant position allowing coastguards to deploy lifeboats, helicopters or other units almost immediately. In this particular case, DSC was even more helpful because voice communications were difficult due to the vessel being dismasted.'

To find out why all sailors should fit DSC to their boats, http://www.vhf-dsc.info/why.html!click_here
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignPredictWind.comSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan
Potential instability in Atlantic Ocean water circulation system
One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict, according to a new study. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” — could occur quite abruptly, in geologic terms, the study says.
Posted on 6 Jan