Solo boat skipper awake for three days before rescue

The Spirit of Guernsey lifeboatImage source, Tony Rive
Image caption,

The Spirit of Guernsey lifeboat towed the boat to safety in the early hours of Monday

  • Published

The skipper of a boat was stranded alone at sea with no sleep and no radio for three days before being rescued, coastguards have said.

He was sailing a 6.5m (21ft) yacht from France to Ireland when it suffered a total electrical failure.

Guernsey Coastguard said it received a call from their French counterparts reporting the vessel in trouble 10 miles (16km) off the island.

The boat had lost its autopilot function, meaning the skipper had been steering manually for three days with no sleep.

Guernsey Coastguard said: "He was extremely tired and unable to radio for help, with his only means of communication being sporadic use of a battery-powered satellite phone."

After the alarm was raised just after 23:00 BST on Sunday, the St Peter Port lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey was launched shortly before midnight and was on scene in poor weather conditions at 01:00 on Monday.

The skipper was described as "extremely fatigued", but his boat was successfully towed into harbour, arriving just before 04:00.