Stranded Boat Located from Marine Distress Signals

rnli lifeboat

When a yacht ran aground, flares fired helped UK coastguards locate its position and rescue the sailor on board, with the search starting in England and ending in Scotland.

English coastguards and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) crews began their search, thinking the stranded yacht was in their territory near Whitehaven, in the north of England, but Scottish colleagues took over when the yacht fired flares, indicating it was closer to Kirkcudbright in Scotland.

Whitehaven Coastguards initially sent a rope rescue team to search for the eight metre yacht at around 4.20am one morning in July. The lone sailor had run aground on rocks, but was unsure of his location. From the details given, the coastguard thought the vessel was between Ravenglass and Harrington, and it called in Maryport Coastguard Rescue Team and St Bees RNLI to rescue the vessel.

The yachtsman was asked to deploy red distress flares to help locate the vessel, but nothing was spotted by the crews. However, a member of the public in Scotland reported a flare sighting and it was then discovered that the yacht was actually closer to Kirkcudbright.

A St Bees spokesman said the vessel was outside of the area covered by its lifeboat so Kirkcudbright RNLI was launched. A safe rescue was made in Scotland.

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