rescued from Steep Holm Island after his yacht sinks
crews have rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of
the Bristol Channel.
man managed to scramble ashore onto uninhabited Steep Holm Island,
then send his girlfriend a text message asking her to get help.
two-and-a-half-hour drama unfolded on Thursday afternoon (September
18th) shortly before 3pm, when the Coastguard received a call
alerting them to the emergency.
man's friend said his yacht had sunk near Steep Holm, several
miles offshore from Brean Down, and he had managed to scramble
ashore but needed help.
RNLI launched a lifeboat from Weston, 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.
then found a discarded life jacket nearby during a search of the
shoreline but could not find the missing sailor.
as they were about to call in an RAF helicopter to help search
for him Swansea Coastguard managed to contact the yachtsman, who
had climbed up to higher ground and was at an old barracks building.
Coastguard helped him to make direct contact with the lifeboat
using a radio he had retrieved from his sinking yacht and he was
told to walk back down to the shore.
lifeboat crew picked him up and took him back to Knightstone Harbour.
He was checked over by the crew and found to be wet but otherwise
yacht had sunk after being 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
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."
The man being returned to the safety of the shore by the lifeboat