called out for second day running as yacht runs aground at Stert
Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft was called out for the second day
running after a yacht ran aground at Stert Island in Bridgwater
Bay, just yards from where a speedboat went aground the day before.
rescue hovercraft was called out by Coastguards after a 76-year-old
yachtsman ran aground in his 20ft yacht, called Kate, on a mud
bank at the northern edge of Stert.
Coastguards tried contacting the yacht by VHF radio but when they
were unable to reach him, they asked Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards
to co-ordinate the launch of the hovercraft and check the welfare
of the yacht and its occupant.
hovercraft launched at 11.45am from Burnham Beach and made its
way to the stricken yacht with two members of the Coastguard Mud
Rescue Team onboard and two hovercraft crew, including pilot Pete
Miller, chairman of BARB, the group that runs the hovercraft,
said: "On reaching the yacht, our crew spoke with the occupant
and established that he had enough food and water onboard and
was therefore happy to stay there until the incoming tide."
hovercraft was once again the only means of reaching the yacht,
given that the tide was out and deep mud was surrounding it."
Coastguard officer, Steve
Bird, said: "To have
a second call-out here in two days was an unfortunate coincidence.
Sand and mud do shift in Bridgwater Bay on a weekly, and even
daily, basis and this makes the channel here difficult for even
Burnham hovercraft is named after five year-old Lelaina Hall,
who tragically lost her life in the mud at Berrow in 2002.
Western Daily Press launched a successful fundraising campaign
when its readers donated £115,000 to buy the fully-equipped
hovercraft. During its first 18 months of operation, it has helped
and rescued more than 75 people along the Somerset coastline.
Burnham Hovercraft Web site home page