Isles of Scilly ferry Scillonian III diverts to aid sailors in trouble

The RNLI were also called out after the mayday signal and the ferry was two hours late arriving in Penzance

4 JUN 2022

Passengers on Scillonian III watch the drama unfold as the RNLI lifeboat from Land’s End arrives at the scene of the stricken dinghy (Image: Holly)

The Isles of Scilly ferry diverted from its journey to go to the aid of two sailors in trouble in their dinghy off Cornwall. The Scillonian III arrived two hours late in Penzance after answering the mayday call.

HM Coastguard confirmed the vessel which takes passengers on the normally 2.5-hour journey to and from St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly responded to the emergency after the small boat suffered rudder failure this afternoon (June 4). The ferry, which carries nearly 300 passengers, was joined by an RNLI lifeboat crew.

A coastguard spokesman said: “Two dinghy sailors who set off their personal locator beacon (PLB) and activated their VHF DSC to make Mayday distress call were rescued today after sustaining rudder failure off Land’s End. After receiving the Mayday call, the Coastguard broadcast a mayday relay and requested the Sennen Cove RNLI lifeboat to launch.

“The Isles of Scilly ferry, Scillonian III, responded to the Coastguard mayday relay and stood by the small vessel until the lifeboat arrived on the scene. The two people were recovered from their vessel and brought to shore by the lifeboat, which also towed the sailing dinghy in so they could recover it safely.”

Isles of Scilly ferry Scillonian III arrived in Penzance two hours late after going to the aid of two dinghy sailors in trouble

Maritime operations officer Dave Henry, from HM Coastguard, said: “By having two appropriate methods of calling for help with them, the dinghy sailors were able to act quickly when they ran into difficulty. We received both the mayday message and the alert from the locator beacon which meant that we were able to send resources swiftly to their aid. We’d also like to thank the Scillonian III for their assistance with this incident.”

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