Solent Coastguard and the Bembridge lifeboat rescued two French crew from a liferaft after their 9 metre yacht sank shortly after leaving Cowes

The French Yacht ‘Groupe Partouche’ declared a MAYDAY reporting that they were taking water and sinking 4 miles South East of the Nab Tower, near the Isle of Wight. The 9 metre yacht, which was taking part in the ‘Myth of Malham’ race from Cowes to Le Havre, had 2 crew on board who then took to a liferaft.

Solent Coastguards tasked the Bembridge RNLI all-weather lifeboat to launch, scrambled the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter ‘India Juliet’ and co-ordinated the response of numerous yachts and other vessels, including the Ferry ‘Pride of Le Havre’, to assist in locating the survivors.

As the lifeboat approached the scene, red flares were spotted from the liferaft and the male and female crew were quickly taken on board shaken, but otherwise unharmed.

Solent Coastguard Duty Watch Manager Bob Knox praised the quick response of the lifeboat crew and said:

“As yet we have no idea as to what caused the vessel to founder and sink, but the crew were well prepared and carried all the necessary safety equipment, which undoubtedly saved their lives.”