It is the fundamental duty of all mariners to come to the aid of those in distress, and such was the case on the evening of Saturday 1st April.
The Sand Heron was dredging on the South West Needles licence area when they heard the fateful words ‘Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. Solent Coastguard quickly answered and a 32ft yacht was in trouble only 6½ nautical miles north of their position.
The vessel in distress was without power and being sent onto the rocks off the Needles Point. Following the set procedures the Sand Heron waited to see if any other vessel answered the call and when they heard nothing after three minutes they offered assistance.
When asked to assist the yacht by the Solent Coastguard, dredge gear was lifted it was full speed ahead to the yacht’s position.
During this time the crew were mustered and duties given. The rescue boat was prepared and the boat crew made ready for launching. The medic onboard was prepped and lookouts were posted.
Within half an hour the Sand Heron was standing by for a rescue boat launch when the Yarmouth lifeboat arrived, attached a tow line and pulled the yacht to safety.
Forty minutes later the Sand Heron was back on its dredge position to ensure continuity of material supply.
Congratulations to all the crew on board the Sand Heron for responding so brilliantly and being well prepared to help and all without letting their customers down too.