Please select your home edition

Sailor texts girlfriend for help after yacht sinks in Bristol Channel

by KenMcCormick on 22 Sep 2014
The lifeboat returns to Weston with the rescued sailor aboard. Weston RNLI
This might be the Texting and Facebook generation but boaters need to user VHF radio says volunteer rescuers from Weston-super-Mare's lifeboat station rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of the Bristol Channel, UK.

The man managed to get ashore on uninhabited Steep Holm Island, then sent his girlfriend a text message asking her to get help, the RNLI said today.

The two-and-a-half-hour drama unfolded yesterday shortly before 3pm, when the Coastguard received a call alerting them to the emergency.

The man's friend said his yacht had sunk near Steep Holm, about five miles offshore from Weston, and he had managed to scramble ashore but needed help.

An RNLI spokesman said the charity launched its lifeboat Anna Stock, which headed towards the Island.

As the crew drew near they spotted the mast of a yacht sticking out of the water but could see no sign of the occupant. They then found a discarded life jacket during a search of the shoreline but could not find the missing sailor.

Just as they were about to call in an RAF helicopter to help look for him Swansea Coastguard managed to contact the yachtsman, who had climbed up to higher ground and was at an old barracks building.

The coastguard helped him to make direct contact with the lifeboat using a radio he had rescued from his sinking yacht and he was told to walk back down to the shore.

The lifeboat picked him up and took him back to Knightstone Harbour. He was checked over by the lifeboat crew and found to be wet but uninjured.

The RNLI spokesman said the yacht had sunk because it had been swamped by the channel's fast-rising tide near the beach.

Helmsman Simon Cresser said: 'This man was lucky he was near the island when his craft sank.

'He was found because of a text message but this is not a secure way of calling for help. He should have had a VHF radio he knew how to use and flares for calling for help.

'We always suggest all sailors are properly equipped. If any have any doubts about their seaworthiness the RNLI does offer free Boat Checks. Just ask at the lifeboat station.'

For more information about Weston RNLI, visit the charity's website.
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterZhik ATR Aroshell SW FOOTERGrapefruit Graphics 2019 - Footer

Related Articles

RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 14 update
Dark Shadow shines in Grenada French Wally 100 Dark Shadow finished the 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race in an elapsed time of 13 days 9 hours 11 mins and 3 secs. Dark Shadow was sailed by Andre Auberton-Herve (FRA) and skippered by Yerin Hobson (AUS).
Posted today at 5:20 pm
2020 Tour Voile: An ever-changing event
Major changes in the pipeline for the 43rd edition While the ingredients that have made it a ringing success over the years will remain part of the magic formula, the 43rd edition will be introducing new features unveiled today at the Nautic Paris Boat Show.
Posted today at 4:41 pm
MACIF trimaran Brest Atlantiques finish quotes
After spending 31 days and 20 hours at sea François Gabart, Gwénolé Gahinet and Jérémie Eloy crossed the finishing line of the Brest Atlantiques in second place, this Saturday morning, two days and 21 hours after Edmond-de-Rothschild.
Posted today at 4:37 pm
Macif and Actual Leader complete Brest Atlantiques
François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet take second place MACIF crossed the finish line on Saturday at 07:43:50, two days, 21 hours, 19 minutes and four seconds after the winner, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, having covered 17,890 miles at an average speed of 23.4 knots.
Posted today at 4:37 pm
Hempel Worlds: New Doublehanded Offshore event
Mixed two-person offshore keelboat event will be on the program at the Paris 2024 Olympics For the first time in Olympic history, a Mixed Two-Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the program at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Posted today at 3:27 pm
The Clipper Race Leg 3 - Race 4, Day 20
Day 20 has thrown the fleet a mixed bag of conditions The competition is hotting up for the front-runners, who have been stumped by windhole shaped obstacles to tackle in the final stages of the race.
Posted today at 2:07 pm
Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds day 5
49er and 49erFX both saw new regatta leaders heading into the final day The breeze was a little softer than previous days, and at times extremely unpredictable and shifty. Yet somehow the class acts continue to prove that they're still the class acts, able to cope with any slings or arrows that are hurled their way...
Posted today at 2:03 pm
The Joy of Sailing
Look beyond the disability - Hannah Shelmerdine's story The definition of Joy is "a feeling of great pleasure and happiness". This is exactly the feeling I experience whilst I am sailing. Everybody can see who I am when I am sailing... Hannah! Look beyond the disability, crack open the shell and here I am.
Posted today at 2:00 pm
Hyundai Worlds: Images from Day 5 - 49er Gold
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke stamped their authority on the 49er fleet at the Hyundai Worlds Peter Burling and Blair Tuke stamped their authority on the 49er fleet at the Hyundai Worlds, with a consistent . but not stellar performance, and were rewarded with being top of the leaderboard.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
North Sails Weekly Debrief
#NSVictoryList: Brest Atlantiques, Shop crew collection, Why the best choose southern spars, Seahors The 2019 Brest Atlantiques was known as the “flight of the giants,” with four super-charged Ultim trimarans driven by talented sailors and fully powered by North 3Di.
Posted today at 12:00 pm