Saturday, July 13, 2024
regency radio sussex news
Click here to listen to Regency Radio The Number One Advert Free Radio Station in Sussex

Exclusive Video: Heroic Coastguard Helicopter Winch-Man Saves Sailor in Dramatic Newhaven Yacht Crash – Update from HM Coastguard

In a dramatic and heart-stopping incident, a 36-foot yacht carrying a lone sailor crashed into the Newhaven harbour wall, breaking up on impact. The incident, which occurred shortly after 4:15 PM on July 4, prompted a swift and coordinated rescue effort from multiple emergency services.

Watch this exclusive footage capturing the moment the yacht collided with the harbour wall and the ensuing rescue operation. The brave winch person from the Coastguard Helicopter can be seen battling harsh conditions to save the sailor, ultimately succeeding despite taking a battering in the process.

Important Update from HM Coastguard

A HM Coastguard spokesperson provided an important update: “Despite the nature of this incident and the footage shared, the winchman paramedic effecting a rescue at Newhaven on Thursday 4 July returned to base uninjured. He was then able to continue duties as usual.” The winchman has opted to remain anonymous on this occasion.

Coordinated Rescue Effort

The rescue operation involved Newhaven Lifeboat, Newhaven and Birling Gap Coastguard teams, a Coastguard Helicopter, and the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECamb). The alarm was first raised by National Coastwatch Newhaven (NCI), which alerted HM Coastguard about the yacht sitting close to shore off Newhaven’s West Beach.

A HM Coastguard spokesperson said, “Shortly after 4:15 PM today (4 July), HM Coastguard received reports of a vessel in difficulty in Newhaven Harbour. Newhaven and Birling Gap coastguard rescue teams were tasked alongside a HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter and Newhaven RNLI lifeboat. The person on board was winched from the vessel and conveyed to hospital.”

Newhaven Lifeboat’s Challenge

Newhaven’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and a volunteer crew of six launched into rough sea conditions with Force 6-7 south-westerly winds. The ALB arrived approximately 300 meters off West Beach, where the yacht was anchored in the surf line.

Lewis Arnold, Coxswain, said, “We made a first approach to the yacht to establish communications, finding one person on board.”

Initially, the lone sailor was reluctant to leave the vessel. After a second approach and agreeing on a plan, conditions worsened, causing the lifeboat to be swamped with water. On their third approach, machinery alarms forced the lifeboat to pull back.

Danny Woodfood, Mechanic, recounted, “My smart watch informed me it was time to take a break and recommended breathing exercises, but although this was a tense situation, I had every confidence in our boat. The bilge pumps were working and everything was functioning safely.”

Final Moments of the Rescue

The yacht’s anchor line snapped, causing it to drift towards Newhaven’s breakwater. Lewis Arnold added, “The yacht’s anchor line snapped. The welfare of the sailor inside the yacht was now critical. Our ALB is built to cope in these difficult conditions. There was considerable green water washing over the decks. However, we were operating in very shallow waters and were not able to get close enough to the stricken yacht.”

As the yacht smashed onto the breakwater, the HM Coastguard helicopter moved in. The winch-man was successfully lowered to snatch and grab the sailor, both of whom were then lowered onto the breakwater arm.

“The casualty sailor sustained serious injuries. The helicopter handling skills of pilot and winch-man were impressive to witness. We are grateful to work alongside outstanding emergency response agencies in our mission to save lives at sea,” Arnold concluded.

This incident underscores the bravery and dedication of the rescue teams, whose quick actions undoubtedly saved a life. The sailor is now recovering in hospital, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Coastguard and lifeboat crews.

Coastguard Helicopter Winch-Man Saves Sailor in Dramatic Newhaven Yacht Crash
Photo – Sussex News

More Sussex News

Sussex News Pages

sussex news logo
Click here to listen to Regency Radio

Sussex Coast News

error: Content is protected by Sussex News