HMS Mersey assists with stricken yacht

Within five minutes of an urgent call over radio from a yacht heading into difficulties yesterday afternoon, HMS Mersey put a sea-boat into the Solent where she had been training at anchor to assist.

By working with the crew of another yacht, the occupants of the Elizabeth Star were towed into Gosport Marina having lost steering around the Spithead anchorages and being set down onto Gilkicker Point.

The sea-boat crew helped the crew of the Elizabeth Star set up a tow by the aptly named Sailing Grace which also responded to the pan-pan radio signal. They then made sure the tow was holding as the yachts got underway towards the safety of the harbour.

I am very proud of my team’s response to this situation. Although we train hard to deal with situations like this as part of our routine maritime security operations around the UK, it is still always impressive to see just how swiftly and smoothly the teamwork kicks-in when an unalerted emergency scenario occurs.

HMS Mersey Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon

HMS Mersey Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon, said: “I am very proud of my team’s response to this situation. Although we train hard to deal with situations like this as part of our routine maritime security operations around the UK, it is still always impressive to see just how swiftly and smoothly the teamwork kicks-in when an unalerted emergency scenario occurs.

“As is so often the case, it was a collective effort from various mariners to ensure that this particular situation did not develop into anything more serious and all of us in Mersey are certainly pleased to have been able to play our part in helping achieve this positive result.” 

AB Orin Mann, the sea-boat coxswain, said: “We got the relevant equipment and managed to launch the sea-boat in less than five minutes from hearing the pipe. We got to the Elizabeth Star to assist with setting-up a tow between her and the Sailing Grace, which then did a great job of towing her into Gosport Marina. If it wasn’t for the teamwork of Mersey’s ship’s company and the crew of Sailing Grace then things could have been a lot worse.”