RNLI crews from Torbay went to the aid of the stricken sailor on Monday evening

A solo sailor had to be rescued on Monday evening after his yacht ran aground on rocks in dense fog near Torbay.

The man had been headed to the area after setting sail from Exmouth when his engine failed and the yacht hit rocks off Meadfoot beach while under sail.

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A volunteer lifeboat crew from Torbay RNLI attended the scene, reaching him shortly before 9pm.

Deputy second coxswain Roger Good said: “It was a challenging rescue, simply due to the thick fog which reduced visibility to almost nothing and meant we could make only very slow speed towards the location of the yacht. It was only the lights from the coastguard team, which alerted us to the exact position.

“Due to the depth and visibility, I couldn’t take the lifeboat in very close, so the smaller inflatable Y boat was launched from the all-weather lifeboat with two crew members on board.

“They went in closer to assess the situation and found that the yachtsman was on the rocks, attempting to push his boat off.

“Concerned for his safety and the risk of hypothermia in the cold water, the two crew members transferred him back to the all-weather lifeboat where they also picked up a third crew member.”

Yacht in fog off Torbay

Credit: Torbay Coastguard

RNLI crews worked to bring down the yacht’s sails, preventing the wind from blowing her onto the shore, and attached a tow line to pull the yacht from the rocks.

After being successfully brought back into deeper water, the vessel was then towed into Torbay Harbour.

“The yachtsman was very grateful to have our help and it was great to be able to help him salvage his yacht”, added Mr Good.