Lifeboat Called To Dismasted Yacht

The Orinoco Flow alongside the lifeboat this morning

It was a long night for volunteers on the St Mary’s lifeboat, The Whiteheads.

Crew were called out at around 6pm yesterday evening to the aid of a single-handed yachtsman, Matthew Gill, in the ‘Orinoco Flow,’ a 40-foot white Catamaran that has concerned Falmouth Coastguard for weeks.

The yacht was reported as dismasted approximately 75 miles south west of the islands.

It had been en route from Antigua to Falmouth but has been out of radio contact because of radio communication problems caused by the dismasting. The skipper was uninjured and had tried to make temporary sails and a radio but it only had a very short range.

The owner of the yacht, who lives in Cornwall, contacted Coastguards on the 27th May with concerns for its whereabouts.

It was thought it may have gone to the Azores. The Coastguard put out satellite broadcasts to ask whether any other boats had seen the stricken vessel. Messages were repeated on the 1st and 2nd of June.

The vessel Eagle Turin found the boat and gave the sailor food. He decline further assistance.

From Radio Scilly

RNLI spokesman Steve Watt describes the rescue of the yacht

When Falmouth asked for further sightings, the boat was located by a tanker. Crew were unsure whether anyone was on board so the RNAS Culdrose helicopter was despatched.

This time, Matthew accepted the offer of a tow into St Mary’s.

He, and the lifeboat crew of Coxswain Stuart Hitchens, 2nd Coxswain Peter Hicks, Mechanic Phil Woodcock, Kevin Sherris, Chris Jenkins, Paul Smith and Dan May got back earlier this morning.

RNLI spokesperson, Steve Watt, says Matthew is planning to fuel up in St Mary’s and motor back into Falmouth later today.