Concerns for Dutch sailor spark eight hour call out for Lowestoft lifeboat
PUBLISHED: 12:42 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:42 14 May 2018
A volunteer lifeboat crew was called out to assist a Dutch yacht.
Lowestoft’s RNLI lifeboat, Patsy Knight, was launched just after 5pm on Saturday (May 12) to locate and check on the welfare of the lone sailor of a Dutch yacht, which had left an east coast port some time earlier and was heading to the Netherlands.
After the UK coastguard received concerned calls from family members and from other shipping about the vessel as it sailed to the Netherlands, the lifeboat launched. Deputy second coxswain Nigel Lyman said: “We headed to the last known location of the yacht which was some 27-miles south east of Lowestoft in the area of a wind farm.
“There was concern for the sailor as he had previous health issues. On arrival there was no sight of the vessel, which we were told also had limited navigation aides and communications – so we began a radar search to try to locate it.
“With help from other vessels in the area who had seen the unusual vessel pass by we headed another 25 miles to the south east and eventually found it two hours later.
“It was dark when we reached him but the sailor, who was not wearing buoyancy aides, was in good spirits and not wanting to be rescued. He asked if we could give him his current position and he was pleased to learn that he was just 22 miles from Holland.
“The 20ft yacht, with a wind turbine fitted to it and towing a dinghy, was making good headway under sail travelling at four knots in the force three to four wind conditions.
“We shadowed the yacht until instructed by UK Coastguard to stand down and return to Lowestoft and arrived back just before 1.30am.”