Activated his McMurdo Fast Find PLB after falling overboard

A solo sailor has been rescued off Cornwall after activating his McMurdo Fast Find PLB. 

Richard Coles, a 68-year-old solo sailor, was returning to

his base in Plymouth from Portmellon in Cornwall

on his Benteau Oceanis 393. Coles was trying to untangle the genoa when he fell overboard, activating his Fast Find PLB.

On receiving the alert, a search and rescue crew from RNAS

Culdrose was sent. Coles was successfully rescued by

Sea King helicopter around six miles south-east of Looe just one and

half hours after activating his beacon. He was later taken to the Royal

Cornwall Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.


on the incident, Coles said: “I purchased my Fast Find PLB in 2007

and always carry it with me when I venture out solo, safe in the

knowledge that I will have a direct method of contacting the emergency

services if the worst was to happen.

“I was extremely grateful to be carrying my PLB on a pouch around my

waist when I was forced overboard and came in to difficulty. It was also

very reassuring that on activation, my PLB continued to flash and give

out a faint beep so that I knew it was transmitting and help would be on

the way. If it were not for my Fast Find PLB, I’m almost certain I

wouldn’t be here today and I would like to thank the rescue services for

their amazing help and the speed in which they were able to assist me.”

You can read more rescue stories on the McMurdo website.