Lyme lifeboat crew warn yachtsmen not to sail

Sailors ignore warnings to continue their journey to France in mountainous seas

TWO sailors aboard a 21 foot yacht ignored advice from Lyme Regis lifeboat crew and continued their journey to France in mountainous seas last night (Wednesday November 17).

The lifeboat was launched after the yacht Avocet was seen leaving the harbour by RNLI Operations Manager Rob Fossett.

He said: “The yacht was engulfed by a huge swell and I felt it would surely turn round and return to harbour. But it didn’t.

“The height of the waves was astronomical, and the yacht had one outboard engine and a sail.”

After consultations involving lifeboat officials and coastguards at Portland it was decided to launch the Lyme Regis lifeboat, Pearl of Dorset, to advise the two men of the reported sea conditions in the Channel between the English and French coastlines.

The yacht had completed only three and a half miles of the 100 mile passage in an hour when the lifeboat reached it.

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Mr Fossett said: “The two men aboard the yacht said they were fine and that they would continue towards Cherbourg.

“They also made it clear that they were experienced sailors and that they would keep in touch with the coastguards by radio.”

The volunteer crew of the RNLI Lyme Regis lifeboat, which was at sea for an hour, was Dave Street, Tim Edwards and John Broome.