Crewman suffered head injury from spar impact

A foredeckman was seriously injured when a spinnaker pole dropped onto his head aboard a Bavaria 46 sailing up Channel off the Isle of Wight. During his rescue the Coastguard was obliged to silence chatter-box yachtsmen over-using their VHF radios.

The 56-year-old aboard the yacht Shabeen was bleeding heavily and as the yacht dropped her sails and started motoring the Lee-on-Solent helicopter took the man off with a high line rescue.

He was then flown to the Lordshill landing site in Southampton where a waiting ambulance took him to Southampton General Hospital.

Mike Greiner, Duty Watch Manager at Solent Coastguard added that other yachts had a responsibility in such incidents by maintaining radio silence on VHF Channel 16 or 67 during the rescue operation in order for the Coastguard to listen to or offer advice to the helicopter crew.

He said that the Coastguard had had to interject with the internationally recognised ‘Mayday Silence’ signal at various times as yacht crews attempted to hail each other in order for that broadcast silence to be maintained.