HMS St Albans Saves Sailor from Stormy Seas
A Royal UK Navy frigate has been involved in rescuing a sailor from rough, stormy seas off the English south coast.
HMS St Albans responded to reports of a trimaran in trouble in the English Channel after the skipper sent out a Mayday call on Monday (Oct 6) evening.
St Albans, which was enroute from her homeport of Portsmouth to Plymouth, immediately responded to reports that the vessel had capsized in rough seas.
She was joined at sea by lifeboats from Weymouth, Bembridge and Yarmouth, while in the air the Portland and Solent Coastguard helicopters worked with a French Search and Rescue helicopter as well a Royal Air Force helicopter.
The search effort covered an area south of the Isle of Wight where the swell was between 2 and 2.5m with winds up to 25 knots.
It was around 04:00 on Tuesday (Oct 7) that St Albans found the stricken vessel 17 nautical miles south of Weymouth and one person visible on-board.
St Albans immediately contacted the Coastguard who removed the man to hospital suffering from hypothermia but not in a critical condition.
Commander Catherine Jordan, commanding officer of HMS St Albans, said: “We initially responded to reports of a capsized trimaran with an unknown number of people on-board.
“Weather conditions were initially very difficult but this gradually improved as the night went on and eventually the moon broke the cloud cover which provided us with good illumination.
“Following a search of over 250 square nautical miles at 0315 an unlit yacht with no mast and significant damage was spotted by the Bridge team some 30 miles from the original Mayday position.
“The weather at this point deteriorated again and due to the difficult sea state and fragile condition of the yacht we were only able to close the distance, provide a windbreak, and offer reassurance until the lifeboat arrived.
“This was a co-ordinated rescue in trying conditions and I would like to thank all of those agencies that were involved.
“I am also pleased to hear that the rescued man was not seriously injured.”
Following the rescue HMS St Albans continued her patrol to Plymouth.
Press Release, October 08, 2014; Image: UK Navy