National Coastwatch – FROWARD POINT


27 Sep 2007 Incident Off The Mewstone

On logging in with Brixham Coastguard at 0900 the duty watchkeepers were asked if they could see a steel hulled catamaran, the Jose Jacqueline. Its reported position was a little over quarter of a mile South of the Mewstone rock. It had requested assistance as it had suffered engine failure, and was drifting towards the rocks. Torbay Lifeboat and a Coastguard Mobile Unit had been tasked to the incident, and the fishing vessel Bosloe in the River Dart had volunteered to assist, as it could reach the casualty very quickly.

No vessel could be seen in the reported position, but a registered fishing vessel appeared to be working very close to the rocks extending West from the Mewstone. Its registered number was clearly visible, and on checking the station’s fishing vessel reference information, it was found that this was in fact the Jose Jacqueline. It is a workboat used in connection with mussel beds, and does indeed have a catamaran type hull, though this is not apparent from most angles of view!

This information was passed to the coastguard, together with the information that it was now very close to the rocks. It had drifted very quickly with the fresh to strong onshore wind. Fortunately the crew managed to deploy an anchor, which slowed the rate of drift, and the fishing vessel “Bosloe” was able to pass a line, and start towing out to sea before the casualty struck. A little later the Coastguard Mobile Unit arrived at the Watch Station to assess the situation. Then the Torbay Lifeboat arrived, and took over the tow, transferring the casualty to the quay in Kingswear. No damage had been sustained, but it was a close call!