Friday, 7 April 2017
Search & Rescue operation 2
I had just tried calling Jerry the Rigger in Gosport to get help with some much needed rivets, when I caught sight of something yellow and orange on a wave crest a few hundred yards to starboard. By the time I'd found the binoculars it was disappearing astern rapidly and just occasionally on a wave crest. It looked like a life jacket and head in an anorak hood. Or maybe a delayed Liferaft
I pressed the Man Overboard button for the second time in the last few days, and roused Mark from sleep to furl the staysail and Genoa. I headed back up wind up nder engine and was back roughly where I'd put the MOB waypoint in 8 minutes. (See screen in photo). We then started a search pattern up wind towards where I'd last seen the object. At this point Emily was roused by the slamming into big waves and came on deck in time for a tropical downpour, with stinging rain in the 35knot squall.
We searched for an hour before Emily finally spotted our target, which had drifted 3/4 mile down wind and current. We. Must have passed it unseen at least once before.
To my huge relief it was not a corpse Ina life jacket but a cluster of yellow floats that looked like a life jacket and a larger orange one that I'd mistaken for a head. Below it dragged a great clump of thick green fishing net.
I was hugely relieved to find it at last and concerned that it had taken an hour. If we hadn't found it at that point I was prepared to continue at least an hour more, as I was horribly convinced that it was a person, or their remains.
It was a saluter lesson that one Dan be lost Overboard horribly easily. Thankfully our life jackets have avradio that alerts the boat if one falls in and should transmit a position which willl appear on the chart plotter screen.