Humber Coastguard received a 999 call at at 5.45am this morning (Friday 22 August 2014) from a man reporting that his 36ft Bavarian yacht had gone up in smoke. He said he needed to be recovered from his life raft.
Humber Coastguard requested the Hartlepool RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats to the scene as well as the Tynemouth all weather lifeboat. The Seaham Coastguard Rescue Team was tasked and the RAF rescue helicopter from Boulmer also dispatched.
Humber Coastguard also received a number of 999 calls from the public and local vessels in the area who could see the smoke plumes and the yacht on fire.
Humber Coastguard Watch Manager Mark Ellis said:
When we spoke to this gentleman, it was clear that he was foreign, but through broken English we were able to instruct him to discharge his personal locator beacon (PLB) which gave us an exact location. However due to the highly visible smoke on scene many vessels were already en route to assist.
When the man was located he had his lifejacket on and was in his life raft. The rescue helicopter reached him first and winched him to safety.