Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Red flares helps vessel spot fisherman in water

Coastguard pic

Thanks to red flares and a Mayday call, a fisherman in the sea whose boat sank off the Dorset coast was spotted and quickly rescued.

The lone fisherman fired the red flares and issued a Mayday call after his trawler sank. The incident happened early one morning in September.

The Mayday was broadcast by HM Coastguard to vessels near the trawler. This was around half a mile southwest of Anvil Point, on the Isle of Purbeck. Two RNLI lifeboats from Swanage were sent to help in the rescue.

The flares were seen and the Mayday was picked up by the crew of a nearby pleasure vessel. They quickly arrived and spotted the fisherman in the water. They stayed with him until a lifeboat arrived and took him back to waiting ambulance personnel at Swanage.

Duty controller for HM Coastguard Dai Jones says, “There is no doubt in my mind that this fisherman kept his head and did all the right things.

“When his vessel began taking on water, he immediately put out the Mayday call which we picked up. The flares which he set off meant the vessel which came to his aid could pinpoint where he was sinking within minutes.

“He had his lifejacket on, and the lights on that lifejacket made it easy for him to be spotted in the water. All of his actions gave him the best possible chance of survival. Remarkably, within 25 minutes of making that Mayday call, he was safely onboard the lifeboat.

“He was cold and in a state of shock but otherwise unharmed. Had he not acted in the way he did, things may have ended differently.”

The image is from HM Coastguard and it shows the National Coastguard operations centre.

Read all the details of another Swanage rescue involving flares.

Oct 13, 2020