Just after midnight on the 30th May 2018, Weymouth RNLI lifeboat under relief Coxswain Dan Blake launched at the request of Solent Coastguard to carry out a radar search for a 31’ yacht overdue on a passage from Dartmouth to Beaulieu..
Having rounded Portland Bill a radar contact showed a vessel in the area of Chesil Cove, a likely place to seek shelter from the North Westerly wind. This turned out to be a false alarm and to be a fishing vessel going about its business, so the lifeboat then set a course to the West and Dartmouth.
Approximately 16 miles West of Portland Bill a small radar contact indicated that this could be the missing vessel that the lifeboat was seeking.
Once close enough to the yacht the volunteer lifeboat crew tried to make verbal contact with the sailor who displayed signs of concern to the lifeboat crew. It was then decided that further investigation was needed.
The Coastguard helicopter which was also involved in the search dropped a paramedic onto the lifeboat
A volunteer crew member from the lifeboat and the paramedic were then put onto the yacht to assess the condition of the lone sailor onboard. He was found to be medically fit, so with a few basic checks carried out and advice given, the crew were returned to the lifeboat and helicopter.
At approx 3.00am the yachtsman was left to continue his passage and the lifeboat was released.
The lifeboat returned to Weymouth, arriving back on its mooring at 4.15am and was then fuelled up and made ready for the next shout.