Friday, 20 April 2012


The fishing vessel ‘Progress’ was struck by lightning this afternoon when fishing a few miles off North Foreland.
The lightning hit the wheelhouse shattering the windows. The strike also destroyed all the electrical equipment and navigation lights. Luckily, both crew members were on the deck at the time and so escaped injury.
Using a mobile phone the crew called the Ramsgate RNLI Lifeboat for assistance. They towed the vessel back to Ramsgate where the crew were met by the Coastguard Rescue Team from Margate.
Dover Coastguard Watch Manager Bob Giles said:
 "The crew of this fishing vessel were extremely lucky. They were fishing in an area with mobile phone reception and so still had a way to call for help when the lightning strike blew out their communications equipment, shattered the glass in the wheel house, disabled their engine and blew a seacock through the bottom of the vessel causing an ingress of water.
"Dover Coastguard were called and Ramsgate lifeboat was tasked to attend and tow the vessel back to Ramsgate Harbour. "

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


The operation to remove the remaining 24,000 litres of fuel oil, along with oily water and other hazardous materials from the grounded vessel ‘Carrier’ was completed yesterday evening.

The vessel, which ran aground on 4 April near Llanddulas in
North Wales, remains aground and is resting against concrete dolosse blocks on the beach close to the North Wales Expressway (A55).  
The owners of the vessel have declared it a Constructive Total Loss.

On Saturday, PGC Demolition, the same company who were awarded the contract to remove the fuel oil from the vessel, were also awarded the contract to remove the wreck of the vessel.  Their proposals to cut the vessel up on site and remove it for recycling have been approved by the Deputy to the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, with work expected to start today and last for a period of up to ten weeks. 

Monday, 9 April 2012


A 48-year-old man who was reported missing by his wife after he went out walking near Kingston in Devon earlier this afternoon, has been located and airlifted to hospital after a search coordinated by Brixham Coastguard.

The concerned wife contacted Brixham Coastguard at 7.30 this evening to report that her husband had set out to walk from Wonwell Beach to Challaborough earlier that afternoon and despite his plans to call her when he was ready to be picked up and brought home, she had not heard from him.  Brixham Coastguard sent the Bigbury, Hope Cove and Yealm Coastguard Rescue Teams to the scene to begin a strategic search of four search areas, with Yealm Coastguard Rescue Team also providing a communications link between the other resources involved.  A Devon and Cornwall Police Helicopter and a Royal Navy Helicopter from RNAS Culdrose were also scrambled to search along the southwest coast path.  With poor weather on scene (rain and strong winds) and the walker reported to be wearing shorts, a fleece and non-waterproof shoes, concern was growing for the missing man. 

At 9.05 pm the Police helicopter located the man in a cove on Gutterslide Beach near Beacon Point.  The man was winched into the Royal Navy helicopter and transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to be treated for lacerations to his legs along with other minor injuries.

Andy Huber, Brixham Coastguard Watch Manager said:
“With darkness falling when the original call was received, along with heavy rain and strong winds in the area, we knew that it was imperative we found the missing walker as soon as possible.  With several different services and teams working together we were able to cover the search area more quickly and, with the aid of the Police helicopter’s infra-red camera, locate the missing man.  If you are venturing out on a coastal walk we would always advise members of the public to wear suitable clothing and carry a mobile phone or other means or raising the alarm should you find yourself in difficulty, along with always checking the tide times before you set out.” 

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Two people, along with their two dogs, had to be rescued after they became cut off by the tide whilst out walking at Far Arnside near North Morecambe.

At 11.10 this morning, Liverpool Coastguard received a flurry of 999 calls from concerned members of the public who could see the people out walking and reported that the tide was coming in around them.  At 11.15 one of the pair involved rang Liverpool Coastguard to ask for help.  He told the Coastguard that they were trying to make it to shore but being forced back by the water.

Liverpool Coastguard sent the Arnside Coastguard Rescue Team (who are equipped with rescue jet skis) to the scene, and requested the launch of the Morecambe RNLI lifeboat.  With the water coming in fast around the pair, 999 calls continued to come into the Operations Room from worried members of the public ashore.  The Coastguard Rescue Team located the casualties, who were by this time knee deep in water, and supplied them with lifejackets and prepared them for transferral into the lifeboat, which arrived at 11.50.  Liverpool Coastguard also called an ambulance, which was waiting ashore and checked over the two people, who were deemed to not require medical attention.

Graham Parr, Watch Manager, Liverpool Coastguard said:

“The spring tides present at this time of year bring tides that are both higher, and stronger, than usual, and so it is even more important that people check the tide times before they venture out on a walk.  Of course, in this location, we also have the Arnside bore, a tidal bore that brings fast flowing water that can be perilous for anyone on the beach during an incoming tide.”

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Six holidaymakers were taken ashore by the Horton and Port Eynon RNLI lifeboat this afternoon after Swansea Coastguard had to send rescue resources to bring them back to the mainland when they became cut off by the tide.

Worm’s Head, near Rhossili in the Gower Peninsula, is accessible by crossing a causeway which is exposed approximately 2.5 hours before and after low tide.  At 4.25 this afternoon, the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) based at Worm’s Head, contacted Swansea Coastguard to let them know that numerous people had walked over to Worm’s Head but not returned, and that the causeway was flooding, meaning they would be unable to get back to shore.  Swansea Coastguard sent the Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team to the scene, who confirmed that there were six people in need of rescue.  Swansea Coastguard requested the launch of the RNLI Horton and Port Eynon lifeboat, which made two trips to bring the six people (aged between 20 and 30 years old) safely back to shore, where they were met by the Coastguard Rescue Team and given safety advice.

Will Parfitt, Watch Manager, Swansea Coastguard said:

“The pleasant weather today has meant that large numbers of people have chosen to walk across the causeway to visit Worm’s Head.  However, unfortunately some of these people have not taken heed of the tide times posted in several locations in proximity to the causeway, and were unable to make their way back to the mainland without assistance.  We would strongly urge anyone wishing to visit Worm’s Head to review the times for safe crossings before setting out, or ask the advice of the NCI who are stationed at the lookout point, and never make the crossing unless there is sufficient time to safely return to the mainland.”

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


A French sailor who was sailing a single-handed racing yacht in gale force weather has been rescued 26 miles south of the Isles of Scilly.
Falmouth Coastguard was alerted to the sailor’s plight at 4.00 pm this afternoon, after receiving a VHF digital selective calling (DSC) alert from the vessel, ‘Betelgeuse’. Because the sailor used DSC connected to a GPS transponder, coastguards received an instant accurate position and put out a broadcast to all shipping asking for assistance from vessels in the area. The car carrier ‘Aquamarine Ace’ responded and offered to go to the assistance of the yacht, which was half an hour away. The yacht had become dismasted and communication over any distance was therefore difficult, so as well as the ship providing a lee to the yacht, they were also able to communicate information from the yacht to the coastguard.
Meanwhile, Falmouth Coastguard had requested St Mary’s RNLI lifeboat to launch. The lifeboat was an hour away in rough weather with a five metre swell. Once the lifeboat arrived on scene, the sailor was rescued from his yacht and taken back to St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly. The yacht had to be abandoned due to the rough weather.
Terry Collins, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager says:
“In an emergency situation, using VHF DSC makes a massive difference to how quickly we might be able to get rescue resources to vessels in distress. A VHF DSC alert gives us an instant position allowing coastguards to deploy lifeboats, helicopters or other units almost immediately.  In this particular case, DSC was even more helpful because voice communications were difficult due to the vessel being dismasted.”


Severe weather has caused four fishing vessels and a yacht to break from their moorings in Fishguard Harbour today.

The first report of a fishing vessel that had broken its moorings was received by Milford Haven Coastguard at just before 7 this morning when the northeasterly wind was gusting to gale force 9 /10. The fishing vessel ‘Pisces’ had been moored near the inner breakwater at Fishguard Harbour and had broken free. A crew member from the ‘Cariad M’ boarded the vessel and managed to restart the engine and take it to a safe place.

The Coastguard then received four further calls about fishing vessels that had broken free from moorings including the vessel ‘Jay-C’ that was beached near the Seaview Hotel, Fishguard. The ‘Euroclydon’ broke down when it was leaving its moorings in the harbour. It was swept on to the rocks. The ‘Megan M’ used their RHIB the ‘Cariad M’ to get a line aboard the ‘Euroclydon’ until the Fishguard RNLI all-weather lifeboat could reach the scene and tow the ‘Euroclydon’ to safety.

The lifeboat then checked the other moorings in the harbour and reported the fishing vessel ‘Helen D’ as missing from her mooring. She was subsequently found wrecked on the shoreline of Fishguard Harbour. The ‘Cariad M’ then came to the assistance of the yacht ‘Coral Wind’ who had been anchored in the harbour and had come adrift.

Mike Rogers, Milford Haven Watch Manager said:
“I’d like to thank the ‘Megan M’ and the ‘Cariad M’ for coming to the assistance of vessels in the harbour today in extremely challenging conditions. Their work was a reflection of true maritime spirit.”



The cargo ship ‘Carrier’, which ran aground at 8.15 last night (Tuesday) at Raynes Jetty in Llanddulas remains hard aground in the same location with damage to its starboard side.  A quantity of marine gas oil has leaked from the vessel.

The ‘Carrier’ has been holed in three places on the starboard side.  It’s reported that the port side, where the fuel tank is located, is intact.

Officers from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution and Salvage branch are working with all agencies on plans to remove the fuel as soon as possible. 


At 8.15 last night Liverpool Coastguard received a distress call from the cargo ship ‘Carrier’ telling them they had run aground at Raynes Jetty, Llanddulas.

A strong gale was blowing and a five metre swell was reported. Because of the location of the grounding Holyhead Coastguard coordinated the rescue. All seven of the Polish crew were taken uninjured from the ship by two rescue helicopters (the first from RNAS Prestwick, the second from RAF Leconfield).

The A55 was closed to allow the rescue services safe access to the vessel. Coastguard Rescue teams from Rhyl and Llandudno offered assistance to the rescued crew whilst the RNLI lifeboats from Llandudno and Rhyl launched.

The vessel is now resting against concrete dolosse* blocks on the beach at Llanddulas, which runs adjacent to the A55. Coastguard Rescue Officers, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance and Police are currently on scene with the Highways Agency. Salvage and counter pollution experts will be on site in the morning.


Notes to Editors

  1. The ‘Carrier’ is a 82m general cargo ship. When it ran aground it was carrying a cargo of stones and 40,000 litres of fuel. It is registered in Antigua and Barbuda.
  2. A dolos (plural dolosse) is a concrete block in a complex geometric shape weighing up to 20 tons, used in great numbers to protect harbour walls from the erosive force of ocean waves

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Portland Coastguard suspended the search for the passenger missing from the Condor Rapide at 10pm.

The ship contacted Portland Coastguard at 5.35 this evening to report a passenger was missing. The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter based at Portland the RNLI Lifeboats from Weymouth and Alderney, the Channel Islands search plane, the French Coastguard’s rescue helicopter and a lifeboat from La Hague searched the route of the ferry. Vessels in the area were also asked to keep a look-out.

Unfortunately the person was not found.

Nigel Robson Portland Coastguard Watch Manager said:
“We have searched the route of the ship and the areas where our search planning expertise indicate a person might have been carried by the tide. Sadly we have found no-one.

“It’s now been five hours since the person was reported missing and because of the water temperature and difficulty of searching in the dark we have now called off the search.”