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Grace II located yachtsman in distress
The "Grace II" enroute St. Petersburg-Cristobal was one of two merchant ships to repsond after a solo yachtsman from Jersey had got into trouble off Cornwall in bad weather. The 22-ft-vessel was taking part in the Jester Challenge to sail from Plymouth to the Azores. The sailor set off a beacon 40 miles south of the Lizard that was received by Falmouth Coastguard who launched a search and rescue mission to find him. The Falmouth Coastguard issued a Mayday relay message to ask for assistance from vessels in the area, which was responded to by two vessels, the "Grace II" and the "Baltic Advance". They also sent the Rescue Helicopter from RNAS Culdrose to the location of the beacon, and called out the Lizard RNLI Lifeboat. A French Customs Aircraft that was also in the area agreed to assist in the search. The weather on scene was particularly poor, with the lifeboat battling through force 9 strong gales and very rough seas to reach the yachtsman in distress. Around two hours into the search, the "Grace II" confirmed they had spotted the yacht. The crew on board the helicopter spoke to the man on board who asked to be airlifted as he was being overcome by the rough seas and high waves. He was taken to RNAS Culdrose, where he is now being looked after by the Mission to Seafarers. The vessel has been abandoned.
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