Injured sailor rescued from stricken yacht in challenging eight hour mission

The RNLI rescued a sailor from a stricken yacht <i>(Image: RNLI)</i>
The RNLI rescued a sailor from a stricken yacht (Image: RNLI)

An injured sailor was rescued after a challenging eight-hour mission.

Hastings all-weather lifeboat launched on Sunday morning after being alerted to a stranded sailing vessel with one person onboard 12 miles south of Hastings in the Channel shipping lanes.

Once on scene the lifeboat crew, made up of six volunteers and headed by coxswain Gerry, were unable to see anyone on board and decided to board the yacht.

At risk of becoming entangled in the yacht's rigging, a lifeboat crew member was transferred to the stricken yacht on the second attempt.

The Argus: The RNLI crew at the scene
The Argus: The RNLI crew at the scene

The RNLI crew at the scene (Image: RNLI)

Once on board, the lifeboat crew member found a lone sailor lying in the cockpit with a possible spinal injury who had been there for some time. The lifeboat volunteer stayed with the injured sailor to administer care, while the yacht was taken under tow.

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The Argus: The yacht being towed
The Argus: The yacht being towed

The yacht being towed (Image: RNLI)

The yacht was towed to Sovereign Harbour at Eastbourne and once berthed the injured sailor was transferred into the care of Southeast Coast Ambulance Service.

Andy Davey, lifeboat operations manager at Hastings, said: “A fantastic effort by everyone involved, especially the Hastings volunteer lifeboat crew who worked hard together to get the casualty and vessel back to a place of safety.”

The Hastings crew finally returned back to the lifeboat station in the late afternoon, after nearly eight hours at sea.