Yacht crew plucked to safety

Joseph Bulmer

Chivenor helicopter in Bristol Channel rescue

THE RAF Chivenor helicopter was called in to rescue the crew of a yacht stuck on a sandbank in the Bristol Channel yesterday (Friday) afternoon.

Swansea Coastguard sent the RNLI lifeboat from Penarth and the independent lifeboat from Portishead to the scene.

But because of the yacht’s posiiton, they were not able to rescue the crew of three, who broadcast a mayday message after the seven-metre yacht Jeannie ran aground and was being pounded by the waves.

They were eventually winched to safety on board the helicopter. The Penarth lifeboat later went back to the yacht to help refloat her at high tide.

Steve Jones, watch manager at Swansea Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, said: “Sandbanks rapidly appear when the tide starts to flow out of the Bristol Channel. The crew of the Jeannie did exactly the right thing; they used their VHF radio to raise the alarm and were able to give their correct position so we could get the help they needed straight to them.”