A major air and sea search was carried out for the skipper of the French catamaran Moon Dele who fell overboard around three miles north-west of Normandy’s Cap de la Hague.

The 10-metre long catamaran had been sailing from Omonville back to her home port of Portbail when the 59-year old skipper fell overboard.

His crewman threw a life ring which was subsequently recovered by the Alderney lifeboat some eight miles south of the reported ‘man overboard’ location.

The search was coordinated by Cross, the French coastguard authority based at Jobourg, and involved Alderney’s RNLI lifeboat Roy Barker I , the French lifeboat Mona Rigolet from Goury, the Channel Island airsearch auxiliary plane from Guernsey, a French military helicopter from Cherbourg, a French warship and a number of other French rescue vessels.

Roy Barker I launched just before noon on 11 November and two of the crew from the Mona Rigolet were transferred to the catamaran to help the sole crewman head for Alderney, arriving at 3.45pm.

These three people were collected from Braye Harbour two hours later by the Mona Rigolet and taken to Goury.

The Roy Barker 1 crew recovered the missing sailor’s life ring at around 4pm. The Alderney lifeboat was stood down by French officials at 5.50pm at which time nothing further had been found.