It is the fundamental duty of all mariners to come to the aid of those in distress, and such was the case on the evening of Saturday 1st April.
The Sand Heron was dredging on the South West Needles licence area when they heard the world recognisable words ‘Mayday, Mayday, Mayday’ transmitted on Channel 16. Solent Coastguard quickly answered and it transpired that a 32ft yacht was in trouble only 6½ nautical miles north of their position. The vessel in distress was without power and being sent onto the rocks off the Needles Point.
Following the set procedures the Sand Heron waited to see if any other vessel answered the call and when they heard nothing after three minutes they offered assistance.
At 8.52pm they were called to assist the yacht by the Solent Coastguard. They immediately picked up their dredge gear and headed at full speed to the yacht’s position. During this time the crew were mustered and duties given. The rescue boat was prepared and the boat crew made ready for launching. The medic onboard was prepped and lookouts were posted.
At 9.25pm the Sand Heron had manoeuvred into position and was ready to launch her rescue boat and render aid to the yacht. At the same time the lifeboat from Yarmouth rounded the headland and made for the distressed yacht and managed to get a tow line onto her and pull the yacht away.
At 9.32pm the Heron was released by Solent Coastguard and the crew stood down. By 10.06pm they were back on the dredge area and picked up the program to ensure their customers were not let down!
Congratulations to all the crew on board the Sand Heron for responding so brilliantly and being well prepared to help and all without letting their customers down too.