Falmouth Coastguard Respond To Mayday Call Off Scilly

coastguard station st martinsA skipper whose vessel lost its rudder off Scilly has been rescued following an intensive search.

Falmouth Coastguard launched the operation this morning after a faint mayday call was detected at 7.40am using their aerial on the islands.

The search involved forty personnel, including the St Mary’s, St Agnes, Tresco and St Martin’s Coastguard Rescue teams, the St Mary’s RNLI Lifeboat, two rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose, the Coastguard fixed-wing counter pollution aircraft and merchant vessels.

Shipping in the area was asked to keep a lookout for the vessel which was eventually located by a commercial boat 22 miles south west of the islands.

The man was airlifted by helicopter but his 45ft white sailing vessel, ‘Shady Lady’ was left adrift.

Tago McLeod for the UK Coastguard says when the mayday message was broadcast, it was extremely faint. They knew the name of the vessel and that it was somewhere in the vicinity of the Isles of Scilly, but other than that, he says, their information was pretty sparse.

Tago says the Isles of Scilly are made up of lots of inlets and coves so searching without much detail was quite challenging.

“Through this morning the coastguard rescue teams have been scouring the islands and the lifeboat has been searching out to sea. We’ve also been joined by the three aircraft which have been able to get the bird’s eye view.”

Falmouth Coastguard are trying to arrange recovery of the vessel but say that if the boat does appear close to shore over the coming days, people should contact them or the St Mary’s Harbour staff as soon as possible.