Lifeboat Called To Sick Yachtsman

The Elixir, with the Russian warship, the Vice Admiral Kulakov, in the background. Photo courtesy of Richard Mills.

The St Mary’s lifeboat raced 65 miles southwest into the Atlantic Ocean yesterday to respond to a call for medical assistance from an 81-year-old single-handed yachtsman.

The British sailor was on a solo voyage back to Falmouth from the Azores when he became unwell. A Russian warship, the Vice Admiral Kulakov, was standing by the 37ft yacht Elixir until the volunteer crew arrived, after launching at 11.45am on Monday morning.

Despite some concerns raised by Falmouth Coastguard that there could be language problems with the Russian crew, coxswain Stuart Hitchens on board RNLB The Whiteheads, said communications were fine and the crew he talked with all spoke good English.

The weather and sea conditions were perfect and the lifeboat averaged around 26 knots on the journey out, passing close by the Queen Mary II giving hundreds of passengers on deck the opportunity to take photographs and wave at the lifeboat crew.

Several of the crew took photographs of pods of dolphins that accompanied them on their way to the casualty.

Once back in the harbour just after 10pm, the yacht was put on the Custom’s buoy and the skipper was landed on the quay where Robert Francis took him to the Star Castle Hotel for the night.

 



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