Thursday, July 29, 2010

YACHTSMAN SAILING BLIND YACHT OFF DORSET

Press Notice No: 211/10 Wednesday, July 28, 2010 Posted 13:10 GMT

The crew of the vessel also did not respond to calls from Portland Coastguard or whistles from a nearby coaster. The Coastguard rescue helicopter 106 was scrambled to investigate. The yacht was about 10 miles off Portland, Dorset, at the time.
Andy Jenkins, Watch Manager at Portland Coastguard said
Eventually after sounding sirens from the helicopter, the single person on board reported that he was on passage from Portland to the Azores and was conducting work below.
He was told of the inadvisability of effectively sailing blind through the busiest shipping lane in the world. He said he was sailing on his own to The Azores from Portland but we stressed he must keep a look-out at all times.
There are devices, like auto-helm or anti-collision radar, which we dont know if this man had, but these should not be relied upon on their own.
It costs a few thousand pounds to scramble the helicopter and in this case it could have been avoided.
Yesterday afternoon Portland Coastguard received a call from the crew of a yacht expressing concern for a yacht, `Erma, who had caused them to alter course in the middle of the English Channel and who did not respond to hails or VHF.


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