Yachtsman rescued by tanker 500 miles off shore

Share this with Email Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Whatsapp

Image copyright MCA
Image caption The sailor set off an alert beacon 500 miles south west of Lizard Point in Cornwall

A lone sailor has been rescued after his yacht became damaged more than 500 miles off the coast of Cornwall.

The yachtsman set off an emergency beacon on Friday morning and two large commercial ships offered to help.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) co-ordinated the rescue which involved French patrol and Royal Air Force aircraft.

A 229m (751ft) oil tanker diverted to the scene and rescued the yachtsman in rough sea conditions on Saturday.

'Tremendous seamanship'

The oil tanker, the Seaways Reymar, is now continuing its journey to the US.

The stricken UK registered yacht, the Helena, remains drifting at sea and nearby vessels have been warned.

The uninjured yachtsman told the MCA by radio he needed assistance on Friday as the mast had become detached and the vessel was disabled.

HM Coastguard Controller Matthew West said the incident was well outside the range of rescue helicopters: "The yachtsman was rescued by tremendous seamanship demonstrated by the master and crew of the Seaways Reymar, who diverted their course and remained on scene for eight hours to ensure the safe recovery of the sailor."

He added that a satellite beacon first alerted them to the situation, and the use of an electronic vessel tracking system on board was "very helpful in pinpointing the position of the yacht".