Yacht found safe after major search

Dorset Echo: Yacht found safe after major search Yacht found safe after major search

A YACHTSMAN sailed off the Dorset coast unaware of a major search underway to find him.

Portland Coastguard said the mariner, who got to his destination safely, didn’t do anything wrong but that a ‘mixture of coincidences’ led to him not being aware of the operation to find him.

The man and his partner set off from Lyme Regis yesterday on board their 33ft vessel Blue Moon, intending to sail to Portland.

Portland Coastguard was aware of the passage but attempts to contact the vessel were unsuccessful. It was upgraded to a ‘pan pan’ urgency call and other vessels were urged to look out for Blue Moon.

Three coastguard teams, the Portland rescue helicopter and a lifeboat were involved in a search which went on for a few hours.

A coastguard spokesman said: “The man had closed the hatch to stop water getting down below and he stayed on the cockpit above making sure all was okay. With the hatch closed and with no exterior speaker it meant he couldn’t hear the radio.

“His passage plan took him very far south, 15 miles off the Bill, and visibility yesterday was 10 miles.

“He didn’t do anything wrong. He had all the right gear. It was a mixture of coincidences.

“But from our point of view if a situation arises like this we have to pursue it until we know all is well.”

Coastguards said ‘several hours’ after the start of the search the skipper responded to broadcasts on the emergency channel and confirmed all was well aboard.

The yacht later berthed at Portland Marina where the crew were met by the Weymouth Sector Manager for a 'debriefing.'

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:24pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Tinker2 says...

Glad all was fine and hoped they enjoyed an exciting sail.
The coastguard can, in my experience, be over zealous and be rather an officious regime,at times. The VHF marine radio is a recommended means of communication and provides safety and yes, it is good practice to radio your intended passage plan in to the Coastguard and contact them again on arrival at your distination. In between times, however, the radio is, a constant source of noise and disturbance when on passage and many sailors would rather a bit of quiet to enjoy their sailing and can turn it right down so as not to be heard. The DSC emergency alarm would sound loud and clear if any action were needed. Coastguards, please don't expect us to be sitting by our radios at all times. It is as bad as a mobile phone, people expect it to be on at all times and to respond instantly when they want you to jump. No thanks!
Glad all was fine and hoped they enjoyed an exciting sail. The coastguard can, in my experience, be over zealous and be rather an officious regime,at times. The VHF marine radio is a recommended means of communication and provides safety and yes, it is good practice to radio your intended passage plan in to the Coastguard and contact them again on arrival at your distination. In between times, however, the radio is, a constant source of noise and disturbance when on passage and many sailors would rather a bit of quiet to enjoy their sailing and can turn it right down so as not to be heard. The DSC emergency alarm would sound loud and clear if any action were needed. Coastguards, please don't expect us to be sitting by our radios at all times. It is as bad as a mobile phone, people expect it to be on at all times and to respond instantly when they want you to jump. No thanks! Tinker2
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree