Falmouth Coastguard received the alert from the personal locator beacon at 10.30am. The position of the beacon was in the Brixham Coastguard’s area and so they took-over coordination for the rescue and asked the Royal Navy Rescue helicopter from Culdrose and the RNLI All-weather lifeboat from Fowey to go straight to the scene.
When the helicopter arrived they found the yacht at 11.20am but couldn’t see anyone onboard. They found the yachtsman in the water a little way from the vessel. It’s believed that the yachtsman, who had been travelling from Port Mellion back to his base at Plymouth, had been in the water for around an hour. He was airlifted to hospital at Treliske for medical attention and two members of the RNLI Lifeboat crew from Fowey sailed the yacht back to Fowey.
David Colmer, Brixham Coastguard Watch Manager said:
“Today’s rescue shows the value of being well equipped. The lone yachtsman was wearing a lifejacket and the full standard waterproofs including gloves and hat. He was unlucky enough to fall overboard whilst trying to execute a tricky manoeuvre but was saved by his personal locator beacon that alerted the search and rescue coordination services.
”Now it’s easy to see why H.M. Coastguard recommends that single handed yachtsmen should use personal locator beacons. They should also wear a lifejacket at all times whilst on deck. These lifejackets should be well maintained and have a sprayhood and whistle if possible.”