Lifeboat Called As Yacht Loses Keel On Rocks

The St Mary’s lifeboat was called out at 3am this morning.

The Whiteheads, under the command of Stuart Hitchens, went to the aid of a single-handed French yacht, the Mademoiselle Ido, which had run aground on White Island, St. Martin’s.

A broken-up distress call was earlier received from Falmouth Coastguard that indicated the yacht had some serious flooding, but there was uncertainty as to its exact position.

A red flare had been spotted by someone on St. Martin’s campsite and coastguards on the island spotted the yacht and reported it as being hard aground.

The yachtsman had been en-route from Ireland to Brittany when he struck rocks and lost his keel. The subsequent flooding had disabled his radio.

Search and rescue helicopter 193 had been launched from RNAS Culdrose, but returned to base once it was clear that the situation was safely in hand.

The lifeboat arrived on the scene at approximately 3.45am and launched the inflatable Y-boat to attach a line on-board.

The yacht was then placed alongside the lifeboat and slowly towed to St. Mary’s harbour.