Shortly after 11:00pm on Sunday 8th August, Guernsey Coastguard received a call from CROSS Jobourg (French Coastguard) reporting a 6.5 metre sailing vessel in difficulty approximately 10 miles southwest of Pleinmont Point. The sailing vessel was on passage from Ireland to France with one person on board and had suffered a total electrical failure several days previously. This had resulted in a failure of the vessel’s autopilot meaning the skipper had been steering manually for 3 days with no sleep. He was extremely tired and unable to radio for help with his only means of communication being sporadic use of a battery-powered satellite phone.
St Peter Port Lifeboat “Spirit of Guernsey” launched on service shortly before midnight and was on scene with the casualty at 12:52am. The weather on scene was poor and the vessel was making very slow progress. The Lifeboat had difficulty communicating with the casualty due to the lack of a working radio however, a line was successfully passed to the vessel and she was towed to St Peter Port arriving shortly before 04:00 am. The skipper was extremely fatigued but otherwise safe and well.