UK Channel: Dismasted yacht gets a helping hand from Brittany Ferries

A dismasted yacht in the Channel had a bit of luck on Sunday after passengers on board a Brittany Ferries ship noticed the vessel was in distress.

Published 8 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Photo from report – credit: Dave Wilson

As reported by YBW –

The Mont St Michael had been heading to Portsmouth from Caen and was 3/4 of the way through its journey when a passenger is believed to have alerted the captain to the yacht at around 5 pm.

It’s not yet known whether the crew had access to VHF communications as they were seen making hand signals at the captain.

Passenger Anna Wyse, who was returning from a holiday in France, said: “It was quite a healthy swell and I guess about mid force five. They said over the intercom that the captain had to divert the ship to help a yacht in distress.

“Someone on board, I think a woman in the restaurant, had spotted a yacht and realised that their sails were at a bit of a funny angle and alerted the captain.

“By the time the ferry came alongside, the yacht had dismasted.”

Passengers on board the ferry reported seeing four or five people on board the yacht and say it looked to be around 34ft long.

“They were quite well kitted out and all had wet weather gear and lifejackets”, added Ms Wyse.

The ferry stood by for around 45 minutes, shielding the yacht from the wind and swell while they cut the mast and sails free and got their engine running.

Ms Wyse said: “They all gave the captain a thumbs up, which made me think they didn’t have any VHF contact. They then turned around and it looked like they were heading towards France.

“He was very good at holding his position and I was just quite impressed that they would help and divert a yacht.”

On speaking to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, it appears that there were no records of the incident, suggesting that the crew of the dismasted yacht had not contacted them for help.



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