The RYA has published a reminder on how to call the Coastguard following a number of recent questions from members about the correct call sign now that the modernisation programme has been completed and a number of Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) have closed. The article can be read HERE
Before putting to sea after such a long period of inactivity we recommend that boat owners should:1.Take extra care to access their craft safely and in accordance with government guidance on travel and social distancing2.Carry out a check to ensure that their craft has remained seaworthy and mechanically sound. In particular, check for fuel contamination resulting from condensation in the tank(s), blocked filters and fuel lines etc.3.Check that emergency equipment such as Lifejackets, flares, VHF radio, PLBs etc. are still in working order and remain in date4.Give due regard to the prevailing and forecast weather conditions5.Pay due consideration to the risk that their activities may result in their having to depend on emergency services particularly at a time when social distancing is impacting on lifeboat crews, Coast Rescue Teams etc.6.Bear in mind that some marine leisure facilities in the area may still be closed and therefore unavailable.7.Make sure you always have a means of calling for help (such as a VHF radio or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch) and keep it within reach.Clive Edwards, RNLI Water Safety Officer, Weymouth Lifeboat Area
Weymouth lifeboat launched to 'Mayday' callWeymouth RNLI all -weather lifeboat was launched at 8.50pm on Wednesday 12th August in response to a Mayday call from a yacht reported by Solent Coastguard to be some twenty miles South of Portland Bill. While on route to the stated position, the lifeboat was not far from Portland Bill when they sited 2 red flares which had been sent up by a yacht some three miles South South East of Portland Bill. The lifeboat immediately altered course to the yacht which had set off the flares.On arrival alongside it soon became apparent that the yacht was the same one that they had launched to but that a wrong position had given when broadcasting the Mayday. The single occupant said that he had been at sea for several days and was on passage from Brixham to Holland when with no wind and engine failure he needed assistance.The Coxswain was so concerned with the condition of the yacht and the capabilities of the skipper that he requested that the Coastguard should meet them when they arrived back at Weymouth. The yacht was taken under tow and arrived back in Weymouth just before midnight where they were met by Wyke CRT who offered safety advice to the skipper about the need to have a seaworthy vessel.