I WOULD be grateful if I could use the Dorset Echo to convey my thanks to the public spirited couple who came to the National Coastwatch Lookout at Portland last Monday, August 24, and drew my attention to a red distress flare which they had seen fired from the southern edge of the very rough Portland Race.

I was the sole watch keeper on duty at that time and deeply involved in working with Solent Coastguard to identify the source of a Mayday distress call.

At that point we believed the vessel in distress to be to the West in Lyme Bay and it was the alert action of these two people which drew attention to the location of the vessel and enabled the rescue mission to get underway. The distressed vessel was eventually towed to Weymouth after an operation lasting about an hour and a half. Thank you both.

Anthony Holt MBE

Commander RN (Retd)