A yacht that ran aground on an island off the south west coast of Scotland sparked two rescue missions – 40 miles apart.

The lone sailor of the eight metre (26ft) yacht Freya 2 had fallen asleep and was ‘unsure of his position’ when he called for help an hour and a half later.

The incident happened during the early hours of Tuesday morning. The boat owner from Lancashire called the Coastguard using his mobile phone, as both handheld and fixed VHF radios on board were unable to transmit.

There was some confusion about the yacht’s location and St Bees RNLI lifeboat in Cumbria was initially tasked.

A spokesman for St Bees RNLI lifeboat station said the Coastguard reported that Freya 2 had left Ravenglass in Cumbria at 3.00am heading north. The lone yachtsman had fallen asleep and an hour and a half later, was unsure of his position.

St Bees lifeboat launched at 4.45am and, as the crew were unable to locate the yacht using its VHF signal, carried out an extensive search along the coast from Whitehaven to Ravenglass, with assistance from Whitehaven and Maryport Coastguard.

During the search the stricken boat fired distress flares. A member of the public called 999 after seeing one of the flares. A commercial ship that was in the area then confirmed the sighting.

The yacht was in fact on the south coast of Scotland around 40 miles further north than had been reported.

Kirkcudbright RNLI launched to yacht on rocks. Credit: RNLI

Kirkcudbright RNLI launched to yacht on rocks. Credit: RNLI

Kirkcudbright RNLI lifeboat was launched at 6.55am 21 July 2015, arriving on scene ‘on the southside of Ardwell Island’ at 7.20am. Kirkcudbright Coastguard also attended.

Freya 2 was high and dry and the sailor was taken ashore by the Kirkcudbright lifeboat crew. The Kirkcudbright Coastguard then took him back to station. No medical assistance was needed.

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Kirkcudbright lifeboat was relaunched at 1.55pm to attempt to refloat Freya 2. Kirkcudbright Coastguard also assisted.

The attempt proved unsuccesful and the sailor was again brought back ashore by the lifeboat and handed into the care of the Kirkcudbright coastguard,where they returned him back to station.