Sailor rescued despite going overboard alone

A woman has survived a scary overboard experience thanks to her vital rescue equipment and Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

She was sailing a yacht single-handed when she went overboard at around 03:00 this morning (17th June) in the Irish Sea, about 12 nautical miles north-west of Blackpool. See below for video. 

But, equipped with a lifejacket (Personal Flotation Device) and Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), she was able to activate the device and alert authorities.

Her vessel sailed on without her but was located by the search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon. The yacht was then intercepted by other local vessels and towed back to shore.

HM Coastguard immediately put out a MAYDAY broadcast to all vessels in the area. A rig supply vessel made its way to the area, spotted her flashing a distress light from two nautical miles away and the crew were able to rescue her within an hour of her going overboard.

She was then taken ashore by Fleetwood All Weather Lifeboat to be checked over by North West Ambulance service.

The search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon was also sent to assist in the search, locating her vessel.

Her yacht was intercepted by the other local vessels and towed back to shore by Lytham lifeboat.

Joel Harding, Senior Coastal Operations Officer, said: “She undoubtedly had her life saved using a PLB and the other safety equipment she was wearing.

“It goes to show the importance of being prepared. If you fall into the sea, it may be difficult to find you, even in moderate swell. It will be worse if no-one sees you go into the water.

“These devices significantly improve how quickly and accurately your location is available and provides the best chance for a rescue.”

More information of emergency locator beacons, along with other safety advice, can be found here:

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