Two Sailors Saved In Dramatic Rescue Off Scilly This Morning

rnas culdrose helicopter 3Two sailors have been saved from a sinking yacht 170 miles South West of Scilly after an all-night rescue attempt, which tested the skills of the Royal Navy Search and Rescue Crew.

The men, one French and one Swiss, were on the return leg of a transatlantic race, the Jacques Vabre. Their boat, Rivages was registered for the race as Cheminées Poujoulat.

The Coastguard was alerted to the incident at around 7pm last night.

Initially two helicopters, one from Culdrose, the other from Chivenor in North Devon, were going to be dispatched.

From Radio Scilly

Radio Scilly speaks to Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Owen who was on the RNAS Culdrose rescue mission.

But only the Cornish-based Rescue 193 crew were sent in the end. The Chivenor aircraft had to land in Cornwall when it developed a technical problem.

The incident was at the range of flying capability although the Culdrose helicopter refuelled at St Mary’s just after 10pm and returned for more fuel during the mission.

They were unable to recover the men during their first attempt at the scene.

Falmouth Coastguard says that the yacht then broke in two. A French aircraft dropped a life raft but the sailors couldn’t get into it.

A plea was raised for shipping in the area to go to the scene and a merchant vessel on its way to Holland eventually picked up the men at around 6am. They will now land at Rotterdam on Christmas Day.

Falmouth Coastguard says that the weather and sea conditions were “horrendous” with “humongous” seas and waves reaching 9 metres.

At 5.30am they told Radio Scilly News that the rescue crew were facing force 9 conditions.

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