Yacht Skipper Rescued Off Dorset Coast After Major Search

A sailor's been rescued from a battered yacht, found several miles off Portland in Dorset after a major air and sea search.

The Coastguard was contacted yesterday afternoon (Monday 6 October) about a trimaran being in trouble, south of the Isle of Wight.

The Solent and Portland helicopters, Isle of Wight lifeboats and a Royal Navy frigate are involved in the search.

The man had to cling to his damaged vessel for almost 12 hours overnight, until a Royal Navy frigate located him early this morning and he was picked up off Portland in Dorset.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it was contacted at 4.50pm on Monday by a merchant ship's crew who had heard a Mayday message on VHF radio from a trimaran vessel in difficulty.

The message asked for urgent assistance and said the boat was at risk of capsizing. It reported the trimaran's position in latitude and longitude to be 37 miles south of the Needles, off the Isle Of Wight.

Coastguard rescue helicopters from Solent and Portland searched the area tonight along with RNLI lifeboats from Bembridge and Yarmouth.

A British naval vessel also assisted with the search.

This morning, an MCA statement said:

"A sailor has been rescued from a battered and dismasted trimaran found this morning 18 miles south of Portland.

"Coastguards coordinating the search for a trimaran in the channel overnight were contacted by the British naval vessel HMS St Albans shortly before 4am, reporting they were standing by a dismasted trimaran with one person visible on top of the damaged vessel. 

"The RNLI all weather lifeboat from Weymouth went to the scene and has recovered a man from the damaged vessel and it is reported that there was only one person on board.  

"The search began on Monday evening after a VHF radio Mayday call was heard in the area."

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