Overboard Sailor Rescued off French Coast

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A British man has been rescued after falling overboard from a yacht off the coast of Ushant in France.

Brixham Coastguard received a 999 call just after 3 p.m. this afternoon reporting that one of the two people on board the yacht had been washed overboard by a large wave.

The French search and rescue authorities coordinated the rescue, with Brixham Coastguard assisting by keeping in regular contact with the man still on board the yacht and the French authorities.

A search involving a French lifeboat, two search and rescue helicopters, a fixed-wing aircraft, along with two Navy ships, one from France and another from Germany, that both happened to be in the area at the time.

The French lifeboat managed to locate the yacht and escorted it back to Ushant with the one remaining crew member on board. After a search of the area, the other crew member was found by the German ship and from there was airlifted to hospital in France believed to be suffering from hypothermia. He was wearing a lifejacket and a wet suit.

Fiona Iris, Watch Manager at Brixham Coastguard, said, "We have been liaising with this yacht and the French authorities this afternoon to ensure the safe return of both these men on board this British yacht.” He added, “The man who fell overboard was wearing a lifejacket and also a type of wet suit, which undoubtedly saved his life. It was also a bright orange colour, so it made it easier for him to be spotted by rescuers.”

Iris concluded, "We always advise anyone setting out to sea to ensure they wear a lifejacket or a buoyancy aid. These should be well maintained and should have a sprayhood, light and whistle if possible. It’s also worth making sure you attach yourself to your vessel whilst on deck to stop yourself falling overboard, particularly if you're alone in rough conditions. In this case, it was lucky that his fellow crew member was able to raise the alarm.”


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