Three more sailors' lives saved by EPIRB

Wilhelmshaven to the rescue
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It's happened yet again.

The lives of three French sailing crew have been saved by their EPIRB - and a friendly passing container ship.

The yacht, 500 nautical miles off its expected course sent the emergency alert this week while were sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.


The alert was picked up by Britain's Falmouth Coastguard.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said an emergency alert was received from the crew of Idem, a Beneteau 38, at about 0730 on Thursday.

Sailing from Iceland to Brittany, the yacht had been blown 500 miles off course in Force 7 winds and its engine had failed.

Frenchmen sailed a Beneteau 38 - now lost to the Atlantic
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Falmouth sent alerts for the attention of all nearby shipping, and a nearby container ship heard the call, and changed course to go and rescue the crew.

Falmouth Coastguard Watch officer Henry Purbrick said the yachtsmen's lives were definitely saved by their EPIRB.

He said: 'We cannot stress how important it is to carry a registered EPIRB. It certainly saved the lives of these three yachtsmen.

'As a result of the broadcasts to shipping we had three ships offer assistance,' he said. 'The container vessel Wilhemshaven arrived on scene at 10:43am and in harsh weather conditions the captain manoeuvred the vessel with great skill to evacuate the yachtsmen from their yacht.'

It too just over three hours for the sailors to be rescued. The yacht was abandoned. It is not known at the time of this report whether it had been scuttled or not before abandonment, or whether it had been seaworthy when abandoned by the three yachtsmen.