Missing Yorkshire Yachtsman Found Alive and Well
A 69-year-old yachtsman named Charles Pickering from Driffield, North Yorkshire has been discovered in good health in the North Sea, after being declared missing for over a week.
Pickering was travelling on a 17ft Leisure 17 yacht named Equinox, and failed to communicate with his family since 4th July. He was last spotted on the Kiel canal in Brunsbüttel, Germany, but he was found on Friday, 80 miles east of Spurn Point, a narrow sand spit on the apex of the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The European wide search for Pickering involved German, French, Belgian and Dutch authorities, but luckily an active emergency positioning beacon on board his yacht allowed a freighter to pinpoint his location. Confirming his safety followed an extensive search of the North Sea, enrolling the help of a rescue helicopter from RAF Leconfield.
It has now emerged that he was hit by heavy weather at Spurn Head where he lost a shroud, and his outboard engine and electrics failed. In these worrying moments he used a EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon), which was picked up by a freighter. He was then taken by RIB to an oil survey platform where he waited to be taken back to the shore by RAF helicopter.
Pickering, a retired builder often went on voyages alone, and was planning on a circumnavigation. Although the outcome of this story is positive, it does potentially highlight the need for more people lodge a passage plan with Marine Rescue before they go offshore.
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Image Credit: Yachting Monthly
Article by Jack Bartrop