Rescue Attempt in “Horrendous’ Sea Conditions Continues Off Scilly

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A mission to rescue two French sailors from a sinking yacht continues into Christmas Eve, 170 miles South West of Scilly.
Falmouth coastguard was alerted to the incident at around 7pm.

Initially 2 helicopters, one from Culdrose, the other from Chivenor in North Devon were going to be dispatched. But only the Cornish-based Rescue 193 crew was sent, in the end. The incident is at the range of their flying capability and the helicopter refuelled at St Mary’s just after 10pm.
They were unable to recover the men during their first attempt at the scene. Falmouth Coastguard, who are co-ordinating the rescue, say that the yacht has now broken in two. A French aircraft has dropped a life raft but the sailors have not been able to
get into it.

The men are in survival suits and are aware that both a merchant vessel and a Spanish fishing boat are heading to the scene to assist in their rescue. The helicopter has returned to St Mary’s for more fuel and the long night for the search and rescue pilots continues, as they head back to the scene. The rescue efforts have highlighted the professionalism of the RNAS team. Falmouth Coastguard say that the weather and sea conditions are "horrendous" with " humongous" seas and waves reaching 9 meters. At 5.30am they told Radio Scilly News that "things were settling down a bit" compared to earlier conditions but it’s still a dangerous situation as the storm drops from a force 11 to force 9.

We’ll have updates during the morning on Radio Scilly news. Our first local bulletin airs at 7am.


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