Skipper wearing a lifejacket saved from rocks after yacht sinks

Taken by Dale Coastguard Rescue Team on scene this morning
A skipper wearing a life-jacket has been rescued by the St Athan Coastguard helicopter after jumping onto nearby rocks when his yacht sank earlier today.

Just after 8am today (Monday 25 February) HM Coastguard received a VHF Mayday broadcast on Channel 16 from the skipper of the 31ft yacht suffered engine failure and hit rocks outside Gateholm, near Milford Haven.    

HM Coastguard immediately issued a Mayday relay broadcast in the area requesting assistance from other vessels in the area.

The skipper, who was wearing all the right kit including a life-jacket, managed to clamber onto nearby rocks just before his yacht sank. 

Angle all weather lifeboat, Little Haven inshore lifeboat, Dale, Broadhaven and St Govans Coastguard Rescue Teams were all sent to assist, along with the St Athan Coastguard helicopter.   The skipper was winched to safety by Coastguard helicopter and placed on the cliff top into the care of Coastguard Rescue Teams on scene.  Thankfully, despite his ordeal he was uninjured and required no medical treatment.

Robert James, from HM Coastguard said:  ‘Thankfully, the skipper was wearing all the appropriate safety gear including a lifejacket, which no doubt would have aided his survival should the worst have happened and he ended up in the water.  He was also able to raise the alarm on the VHF radio which enabled us to send help very quickly to him.

‘Remember, if you’re going out on the water, make sure that you take a good method of communication with you. On a boat a VHF DSC radio is ideal, and a mobile phone in a sealed plastic bag is a good back up. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard in an emergency at sea, and of course wear your lifejacket. This could have been a very different outcome today had he not been wearing his lifejacket and we commend his actions, which have assisted in saving his life.’ 

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