Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

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.

Barz Optics - FloatersZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

See how your smart phone can help save your life
OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is available on Android as well as through App Store. OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is now available on Android as well as through the App Store.
Posted on 25 May
High water on the great lakes – Boom or bust for boaters?
Boaters can find that deeper water under the keel may open a range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation With Great Lakes water levels on the rise and expected to continue to increase into summer, recreational boaters could find that deeper water under the keel may open a whole new range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation.
Posted on 19 May
BoatUS 2017 top 10 list of boat names and their meanings
BoatUS, issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list today, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The nation’s largest recreational boating advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list today, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The names come from tallying up requests for boat names to the BoatUS Graphics service, and each reveal much about the personality of the vessel’s owner.
Posted on 18 May
Brian McGinnis takes Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship
Old Point Comfort Yacht Club hosted a multi-state field for the first 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship. Old Point Comfort Yacht Club hosted a multi-state field for the first 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship. The race was a qualifier for the 2018 Sunfish Worlds. Winds for the weekend tended toward 20 knots or more for Saturday where only four of the nine boats entered finished the five races run on Saturday.
Posted on 9 May
North Technology buys Hall Spars from receivership
North Technology Group (NTG) has announced the acquisition of the Hall Spars business out of receivership. North Technology Group (NTG) has announced the acquisition of the Hall Spars business out of receivership. The Hall Spars US parent company announced in early 2017 that it would be closing the doors due to well publicized financial challenges. The acquisition covers Auckland and Brekens and Hall Spars will re-establish in Rhode Island
Posted on 9 May
Coast Guard finds Aids-to-Navigation shot and sunk near Block Island
Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis discovered a buoy sunk in water with bullet holes, near Block Island, Rhode Island. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis discovered a buoy sunk in the water with bullet holes, Monday, near Block Island, Rhode Island. The crew was conducting regular aids-to-navigation maintenance when they approached Clay Head buoy number 7 and found it submerged. The crew raised the 12,000-pound buoy and found 20 bullet holes in it.
Posted on 28 Apr
A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted on 25 Apr
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018 to celebrate superyacht regatta’s tenth anniversary Boat International Media, the global authority on superyachts and the luxury lifestyle that goes with them, has today announced that it will be partnering with the NZ Millennium Cup superyacht regatta, to be held in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands in January 2018.
Posted on 22 Apr
A Few Rays - What is Broad Spectrum Protection?
What is Broad Spectrum sunscreen? Ultraviolet rays only make up a small proportion of all of the sun’s rays. What is Broad Spectrum sunscreen? Ultraviolet rays (UVA, UVB and UVC) only make up a small proportion of all of the sun’s rays. UVA and UVB sun-rays are however the biggest contributors to skin damage from sun.
Posted on 19 Apr
Coast Guard urges boating safety common sense
Coast Guard reminds mariners that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold The Coast Guard is reminding mariners Friday that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold. With the rise in air temperature, the number of boaters, paddle craft users, and water enthusiasts taking to water activities also rises.
Posted on 15 Apr