Search following report of a drifting yacht

Sunday 7 August 2016

Location: 1 mile Northeast of Manacles

Weather: W 4, Slight Sea and No Swell, Good Visibility, Clear Periods

All-weather lifeboat (Launched 21:20 / Returned 23:33) – Luke Wills (2nd Coxswain), John Blakeston , Dave Nicoll, Diane Bush, Jonathan Hackwell, Claire Angove, Jake Ingleby, Jamie Wakefield

Inshore lifeboat (Launched 21:51 / Returned 23:30) – Neil Capper (Helmsman), Adam West, Nick Head


At 21:13 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth All Weather Lifeboat be launched following reports of a yacht adrift Northeast of The Manacles. The Porthoustock Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team was also tasked to assist.

The All Weather Lifeboat which left its pontoon berth at 21:20 and having rounded Pendennis Point headed across Falmouth Bay towards the original position given. The Coastguard Team which had already arrived on scene at Porthallow reported that the owner of the yacht had been believed to be seen heading back out to his yacht in a tender. When the Lifeboat arrived on scene at 21:46 it located the 7m yacht Nore Sand adrift with no sign of anybody on board. In view of this the Lifeboat commenced a search back towards Porthallow and the Coastguard was requested to launch the Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat to assist with the search. At 21:51 the Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway arriving on scene at 22:07. Following additional information obtained from another yacht anchored in the bay the All Weather Lifeboat commenced a wider search of the area off Porthallow while the Inshore Lifeboat went to the drifting yacht to look for additional information and to then tow it back to Porthallow where it was re-anchored. At 23:00 based on information found on the yacht the Coastguard were able to locate the owner safe ashore in St Keverne so the search was terminated and both lifeboats were released to return to their station.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 23:30 while the All Weather Lifeboat arrived back alongside its pontoon berth at 23:33, both lifeboats being refuelled and ready for service by 23:48.

The yacht had been anchored off Porthallow and had dragged its anchor into the deeper water which then allowed it to drift out to sea. With a number of anchored yachts in the area there was some confusion over what had happened to the owner but following some detective work by the Lifeboats and the Coastguard Team the owner was eventually located safe and well ashore, and was advised that his yacht had been returned to its anchorage.