A wave knocked the skipper from his rigid hulled inflatable boat

A man who spent three hours at sea after he was thrown from his vessel was saved by the signal from his personal locator beacon (PLB).

At 4.07pm on Friday, Falmouth Coastguard contacted Milford Haven Coastguard about a signal from a PLB located nine miles offshore from St David’s Head.

Coastguard officers checked the vessel and contact details on the UK Beacon Registry database and identified that this PLB was registered to the Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Merlin.

Milford Haven Coastguard requested the launch of St Davids RNLI Lifeboat and the rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor.

The rescue helicopter located the man in the water using the signal from the beacon and winched him into the aircraft.

The man was checked by the crew in the helicopter and in agreement with Milford Haven Coastguard returned to his vessel and has made the return voyage to Milford Haven.

The single-handed skipper was on voyage from Milford Haven to Kilmore Quay in Ireland when a wave knocked him out of his RHIB.

He was thrown into the water but was wearing a survival suit, lifejacket and had a PLB with him. The man spent approximately three hours in the water.

Milford Haven Coastguard Watch Manager Rob James sayid: ‘Fortunately this skipper was prepared for a single handed voyage offshore and having the right gear has saved his life.

‘The kill cord on the vessel did work and cut the engine when he was thrown from the boat.

‘Wearing a survival suit and lifejacket enabled him to survive the three hours in the sea while awaiting rescue and the PLB which was activated sent the exact location of the casualty to the Coastguard.’

Register your beacon

All UK 406 MHz EPIRBs and PLB’s should be
registered with the UK Coastguard to ensure a speedy rescue.

register your beacon or update your details go to

Pictures: St Davids RNLI lifeboat. Credit- RNLI/Nigel Millard

A stock image of a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)