Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews from both Padstow and Newquay were tasked this morning (Thursday 23 May) to the aid of a single handed yachtsman who'd injured his hand on passage in rough seas
The skipper of the yacht had been at sea for most of the night, having set off from Milford Haven in strong force 6 to 7 gusting winds. During passage, the hatch of the 26 foot yacht had slammed on his hand, and he'd been forced to request assistance from Falmouth Coastguard.
Padstow's volunteer crew launched the RNLI all weather Tamar lifeboat The Spirit of Padstow at 6.12am this morning, on reaching the casualty, the seas were too big to be able to transfer a crew member on board the yacht safely. Communicating by radio, Padstow RNLI advised the yacht's skipper to head towards Newquay and some shelter and requested the backup of Newquay RNLI.
Newquay's Atlantic inshore RNLI lifeboat with four volunteer crew onboard were on scene at 8.08am and as the inshore lifeboat is smaller, were able to get alongside the yacht and put RNLI crew member and paramedic, Christian Brown onboard to assess the casualty's injuries. As well as being tired and exhausted after being a sea in challenging conditions all night, the skipper needed hospital attention for his injuries. He was transferred to the Newquay inshore lifeboat, and transferred back to Newquay where paramedics were waiting on scene.
Meanwhile Padstow lifeboat stood by and took the yacht in tow and began a long, six hour passage back to Padstow harbour.
Michael England, RNLI Station Mechanic said;
'Conditions at sea were extremely rough, with a strong wind and big seas, it was great team work between the two RNLI teams from the two stations to provide assistance to the yachtsman and ensure he had immediate hospital treatment. It's been a long passage back to Padstow for the volunteer crew, in total they will have been at sea for eight hours. Although arduous to them, we should thank their family's and places of work, who generously allow them this time to provide this service to those in need.'