Yachtsman Plucked from N.Atlantic 40-ft Swell


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Yachtsman Plucked from N.Atlantic 40-ft Swell

A team of Royal Navy aviators rescue an injured man from his yacht 70 miles offshore UK coast in Sea State 8 & a 40-foot (12m) swell.

The duty crew of 771 Naval Air Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose in Helston, Cornwall, carried out the risky operation following a 'scramble' to a lone sailor in difficulties.

Having conducted a visual search of the area for over an hour, 70 miles (113km) out at sea, in very poor visibility, the team located the sailor when he lit a flare.

The sailor had fallen over on his 20-foot yacht whilst trying to fix his masts and rigging and had slipped and injured his ankle.

Royal Marines Corporal Justin Morgan was winched down to rescue the sailor:

A hi-line was lowered to him, which should enable the winchman to be lowered safely onto the deck of the boat. However, the sailor was so desperate to get off the yacht that he tied the hi-line around his waist and jumped into the water.

"The 200-foot rope was tangled all around us, so I had to cut this from us first. When we were eventually both safely back in the helicopter we both lay on the floor thinking about what we had been through, said Cpl Morgan.

The rescued yachtsman was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.