At about 00:45 this morning the French yacht Jouvente, having just arrived in St Peter Port advised the duty Marina staff that they had a man in the water. When questioned further it transpired that this had not just occurred but had in fact occurred at around 21:00 on Saturday, off the Hanois Lighthouse. The lifeboat crew were immediately paged and the Channel Island Air Search crew soon after. The lifeboat departed St Peter Port at 01:10 and Channel Island Air Search took off shortly afterwards. At 04:12 the Channel Island Air Search aircraft was stood down and a resumption of searching by the a/c arranged for 0600. At 05:20 the Ambulance and Rescue Service Inshore rescue boats were requested. They were tasked with searching the inshore waters of Rocquaine Bay and Lihou Island and later up as far as Richmond corner and the outlying rocks. They were stood down at 09:35
A substantial area South and South West of the Island were searched based on the information given by the crew of the vessel in addition the Big Russel and Little Russel were both also searched, unfortunately to no avail. At half past nine the lifeboat returned to St Peter Port to refuel and at that time it was decided to suspend the search until the time of the incident and any other relevant information could be better determined. The Channel Island Air Search aircraft returned to the airport for fuel and crew change at 09:45 and the crew were also advised that the search had been suspended.
At 12:55 as a result of further information Channel Island Air Search took off and searched an area between Boue Blondel of the West coast of Guernsey and the SW Bank of the Casquets, again nothing was found, the aircraft returned to Guernsey at 15:38. There being no further information and with the weather deteriorating the operation was terminated at 18:00.
French Yacht Jouvente - Picture by Tony Rive