Navy sails to the aid of stranded yacht

The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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The Royal Navy has sailed to the aid of a yacht stranded by severe weather.

HMS Echo joined forces with the Solent Coastguard and the RNLI to assist the skipper of the vessel, who sent out a distress call when he was unable to make headway in strong winds.

The survey ship had been in the Western English Channel when its radio operatrs overheard the call from the struggling sailor to Solent Coastguard.

With the skipper unable to get a clear message out as his yacht was battered by 40 knot squalls whilst attempting to cross Lyme Bay, HMS Echo passed vital information to the Coastguard, which activated the RNLI.

As the RNLI took the yacht under tow HMS Echo shielded the boats from the wind as she escorted them back towards Teignmouth.

HMS Echo’s Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Tom Becker, said: “It was too small a yacht in too strong a wind.

“The Sea is a dangerous place to operate.

“As the Royal Navy, one of our core roles is to save lives at sea when necessary.

“Thankfully this proved to be a relatively minor incident but it could have been much worse.

“I am glad that we were able to assist and work closely together with the RNLI and Her Majesty’s Coast Guard.”