A Boat on the Side
30Apr/100

Global Rescue

Here’s an item from Derek Brown in last week’s The Guardian Weekly – the only paper worth reading, in my opinion.

The crew of a 79-metre yacht, the Titanic, that was foundering in the Caribbean have been saved thanks to a mobile phone call to a DIY store in Aberystwyth 4,800 km away.

The doomed yacht was listing badly, had lost power, and was too far from land to use its VHF radio. Help was only summoned after one of the three crew, Mark Corbett dialed from memory the number of his friend Alex Evans, who happens to be a lifeboat volunteer. Even when he answered – to the wild excitement of the Titanic crew – he assumed his pal was pulling his leg.

When he twigged that the emergency was very real, Evans coolly co-ordinated the rescue from the store where he had been shopping with his mother. He noted the vessel’s grid references on a till receipt, and phoned them through to the coastguard station at Milford Haven. They passed the details to Falmouth, where international emergencies are dealt with. Within an hour, the Titanic was located by a French spotter plane. The US coastguard showed up and towed the yacht to safety.

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