At 1747 on Thursday 29th August 2019, Guernsey Coastguard received a call regarding a 22ft motor vessel experiencing engine trouble 6 miles northeast of Sark. The vessel had one person on board and was struggling to make progress back to Guernsey due to a fuel supply issue. Attempts by Guernsey Coastguard to gain assistance from other vessels in the area failed. With the tide running fast to the north in the Big Russel and with less than 2 hours to go to sunset, St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) was launched at 1845 to locate and assist the casualty vessel arriving on scene at 1910. A lifeboat crew member was transferred to the vessel and a tow was established. The lifeboat and casualty arrived safely back in St Peter Port at 2030.
Meanwhile, at around 1930 Guernsey Coastguard took a 999 call from the skipper of an 18ft motor vessel that had run out of fuel near Platte Beacon northeast of the entrance to St Sampson’s Harbour. She was unable to anchor and was drifting quickly with the tide. After establishing that the vessel was standing into danger, St Peter Port Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was paged and a MAYDAY Relay message was broadcast. 2 vessels in the area responded and proceeded quickly to the scene. Despite difficult conditions in the overfalls north of Platte Beacon, a towline was connected and the vessel was towed away from danger. The ILB was stood down and the vessel arrived safely back in St Sampson’s Harbour at 2030. Paramedics met the vessel on arrival and checked both crew over.
Following the 2 incidents, Guernsey Coastguard asks that all boat owners make sure that boat they and their vessel are fit to go to sea. Duty SAR Mission Coordinator James Way said “it is imperative that vessels are completely seaworthy and have all the necessary safety and communications equipment on board. It is equally important that skippers know how to operate all of the equipment carried and that they have the appropriate experience to safely navigate our challenging local waters”.