Rescued yachtsman plans his next voyage

Rescued yachtsman plans his next voyage

Charles Pickering

Charles Pickering's yacht

First published in News
Last updated

A yachtsman who sparked an international rescue when his vessel lost power at sea says he is already planning his next voyage.

Coastguard crews from the UK and Germany were launched to help find 69-year-old grandfather Charles Pickering when his 17.5ft yacht Equinox, which is moored in Scarborough, was reported missing by his family.

Mr Pickering, of Wetwang, was found hungry, wet and deprived of sleep 80 miles east of Spurn Point - the mouth of the Humber - after he suffered a power failure, rendering his equipment useless.

Further disaster struck when he sailed into the path of a Force Eight gale and was blown 50 miles off course.

But the grandfather-of-nine says he was never lost, and knew he would survive.

He said: "I wasn't scared.

"All I could do was sit there and watch the waves breaking over my boat.

"I just had to wait for the storm to disappear, but I knew the emergency services would be looking for me, so I pressed my beacon.

"Waves were breaking right over the boat.

"A wall of water would come from 12ft high and completely cover the boat then take it under, but every time it came back up.

"I have confidence in my boat, and unless you have that you won't get through it.

"I'm planning next year's cruise right now.

"I'm going to Scotland via the Caledonian Canal and along the west coast."

Humber coastguard began the search, and alerts were broadcast by BBC Radio 4, when the yachtsman of 14 years failed to make contact with his family six days after leaving Kiel, in Northern Germany, on July 4.

Alerts were issued to French, Belgian and Dutch authorities, and Humberside Police logged a missing person's report with Interpol.

Mr Pickering was trapped in the storm for 24 hours, but had been without power for six days.

He added: "I've been in storms before, but none as bad as this.

"You just have to deal with it at the time and I dealt with it very well.

"I was lucky I didn't lose a mast. Once the storm stopped I got the engine running and two hours later I was found."

Mr Pickering was transferred to a North Sea supply vessel and air lifted to Humber coastguard, while his boat was towed back to dry land by the RNLI.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:14am Sat 19 Jul 14

again says...

Isn't Wetwang wet enough for him?
Isn't Wetwang wet enough for him? again
  • Score: 0

10:36am Sat 19 Jul 14

julia brica says...

That looks like a Leisure 17 by cobramould unless I am mistaken .
A really strong sturdy little craft. Proven by Charles. Well done old chap.
That looks like a Leisure 17 by cobramould unless I am mistaken . A really strong sturdy little craft. Proven by Charles. Well done old chap. julia brica
  • Score: 0

11:47am Sat 19 Jul 14

sheps lad says...

Think I'd sooner sail in one moored behind him!
Think I'd sooner sail in one moored behind him! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree