At 9:30am on Monday 7th September 2020, Guernsey Coastguard received a radio call from a 21-foot motor boat with 1 person onboard which had broken down 18 nautical miles west of Les Casquets Lighthouse. Guernsey Coastguard made a PAN PAN broadcast on behalf of the casualty requesting assistance from other vessels in the area however, no offers of help were forthcoming.
St Peter Port Lifeboat “Spirit of Guernsey” was launched at 10:05am to locate and assist the casualty vessel, arriving on scene at 11:05am. A tow line was connected and the vessel was towed safely back to St Peter, arriving at the pier heads at 1:20pm.
At 10:51 this morning (Saturday 5th September 2020), Guernsey Coastguard received reports of an orange Kayak seen drifting in L’Eree Bay on the south-west coast of Guernsey.
A Coastguard officer attended at the scene and assisted another Kayaker in recovering the Kayak to the shore where it was inspected for any identifying marks however, none were found.
A social media appeal brought forward a witness who said they had seen a male and two children paddling an orange Kayak at about 08:30 this morning.
Because of this information and with the potential for persons being in the water, the St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ and the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) ‘John & Louisa Fisher’, were both launched at 11:42, to investigate further.
At 12:19 more information was received during investigations made by JESCC staff, and it was decided to also launch the Channel Islands Airsearch aircraft, ‘Airsearch 1’.
The Lifeboats arrived on scene at about 12:20 and commenced a thorough search of the area.
At 12:50 more information was received indicating that the owner of the Kayak had been located with his two sons who were all taking part in a race at the Rocquaine Regatta and that the Kayak had broken free from its mooring in L’Eree Bay.
With all persons located safe and well the lifeboats and Airsearch 1 were stood down at 13:00.
A spokesman for Guernsey Coastguard said “This incident highlights the importance of marking any marine sports equipment with the owners contact details. This incident could have been resolved much sooner if the Kayak had been marked either with an indelible marker or with one of Guernsey Coastguards ‘Water Based Activity’ stickers available from several local water based, sporting equipment suppliers”.
At approximately 16:55 yesterday evening Guernsey Coastguard received information that two teenagers had been left stranded on Lihou Island on the South West Coast of Guernsey, after being cut off by the rising tide.
At 17:05 the St Peter Port inshore lifeboat, the ‘John & Louisa’ Fisher was tasked to recover the two teenagers arriving on scene at 17:52.
The lifeboat transported the teenagers safely back to the Lihou car park headland where they were met by their parents, the Lihou Island Warden and a Guernsey Coastguard officer who offered words of advice regarding the importance of knowing the opening and closing times of the causeway.
The inshore lifeboat returned to St Peter Port and was back on station at 18:59.
At 3:15pm on Friday 28th August 2020, Guernsey Coastguard received a call from a member of the public reporting concern for his friend who was 45 minutes overdue in returning to land having been snorkelling on the west coast of Herm.
Given choppy conditions and the fact that the man had not been positively seen since 1pm, St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) and Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) were both launched in order to conduct a search. Channel Island Air Search was also paged and another vessel in the area was able to assist.
Lifeboats were on scene by 3:45pm and after conducting a short search around the Rocquerie and Plat Houmet area, the man was located safe and well shortly after 4pm having lost track of time. He was returned to Herm Harbour and both Lifeboats and Airsearch were stood down.
At 7:51 AM on Tuesday 18th August 2020, Guernsey Coastguard received a call from a 9-metre sailing catamaran with one person on board. The vessel was in difficulty approximately 10 nautical miles southwest of Les Casquets Lighthouse, West Coast of Alderney. Whilst the vessel was in no immediate danger, the navigation and electronic steering systems onboard had failed and the skipper was unsure of his position.
After gathering further information from the casualty and making an unsuccessful broadcast to vessels in the area for assistance, Guernsey Coastguard requested the launch of St Peter Port Lifeboat. The Lifeboat left St Peter Port at 8:50 AM and was on scene 35 minutes later.
After assessing the situation, a tow line was passed to the casualty vessel and she was towed safely back to St Peter Port arriving shortly after 11:00 AM.
At 16:53 this evening a concerned member of the public on the East coast of Herm contacted Guernsey Coastguard stating that an aircraft trailing smoke was seen to lose altitude, however it was not seen to crash and no accurate distance or positions could be given, only that it had possibly crashed somewhere between Sark and the adjacent coast of France.
The St Peter Port all weather lifeboat, ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ and the Channel Islands Airsearch aircraft, ‘Airsearch 1’ were both launched at 17:20 in order to investigate the sighting further.
The St Peter Port Lifeboat arrived on scene at 17:55 with Airsearch 1 arriving at 18:17 at which time an extensive search was conducted in the near perfect conditions of smooth seas and visibility in excess of 10 nautical miles.
Sark and Herm constables mobilised manpower to conduct visual searches from the shore and also several small vessels from Sark put to sea to assist in the search.
Enquiries were made with Air Traffic Control authorities in Guernsey, Jersey, France and the United Kingdom, all of which investigated and found no overdue aircraft or any acting erratically on recorded radar displays. No distress calls or beacon alerts were received at any time during the incident.
At 20:00 with no sightings of any objects or fuel slicks on the water, and no further information from air traffic sources the decision was taken to cease the search.
Airsearch 1 was back on station at 20:15 with the St Peter Port Lifeboat being back on station at 20:52.
Until any further information is available this incident is being treated as a call with good intent and Guernsey Coastguard are grateful to the informant who showed the presence of mind to call in an event that looked out of place.