On Saturday, July 22, at 9:20 p.m., Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue and the Weymouth Lifeboat were summoned to Portland Harbour. They were sent there to meet up with a number of yachts that either had crew members who were hurt or had structural damage.
During the Rolex Fastnet Race this past weekend, the first boat suffered a structural breakdown of the deck. Weymouth Lifeboat had escorted the yacht into the harbor while performing checks on each of the 12 passengers.
In difficult circumstances, 430 yachts began the 50th running of the race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Before entering the Irish Sea and coming to a stop in Cherbourg, northern France, yachts pass a number of coastal landmarks, including Portland Bill.
Later, another competing vessel that was entering the harbor with a crew member suffering from a dislocated knee required the assistance of rescue teams. The victim was evaluated and removed from the yacht before being transferred to Dorset County Hospital (DCH) with assistance from Portland Marina workers and paramedics.
The team was made aware of additional occurrences occurring nearby at the same time, according to Portland Coastguard, including a boat dragging its anchor in the harbor. When a crew member on another Fastnet vessel had broken ribs, the rest of the squad and paramedics headed back to Portland Marina to help.
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The casualty was examined and helped off the yacht so that they could both be brought to DCH for additional care. At 1.30 am on Sunday morning, rescue teams stood down after a busy day on the sea and went back to their station.
At 8.33 on Sunday morning, a vessel entering Weymouth Harbour with a crew member suffering from a fractured arm required the assistance of Wyke Regis Coastguard. The female contestant was content to take a taxi to the hospital, so the coast guard said the ambulance was stood down.
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In addition, two racers aboard another yacht experienced steering issues and had to be hauled to Poole in ‘difficult’ circumstances. Three yachts competing in the Fastnet race needed to be rescued, therefore Swanage lifeboat teams were sent out.
In the past, the race has proven to be hazardous for sailors. In 1979, tragedy struck when 15 crew members perished after several boats overturned and sank in strong winds and rough seas.
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