Navy

HMS Dragon Sailors Rescue Stricken Yacht

The Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer deployed a sea boat after receiving a distress call while training.

Royal Navy sailors from HMS Dragon have rescued a yacht off Lulworth Cove in Dorset, while training for their ship's third overseas deployment.

The Portsmouth-based vessel was in Weymouth Bay when it received a distress call at 4.30pm on Saturday.

A lobster pot had wrapped around the Monteray yacht's propeller shaft, leaving it unable to move and its two-man crew stuck on board.

Within 50 minutes, the 8,000-tonne Dragon had sent a sea boat racing to the rescue.

HMS Dragon's air defence capability is being utilised as part of the UK's Carrier Strike Group alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth, but the crew used a different set of skills on Saturday (Picture: MOD).

Leading Engineering Technician Charlie Rigelsford, 27, was part of the team.

The marine engineer found there was no way to get the pot off the shaft and the rudder from the stern of the craft.

Instead he clambered down the stern ladder, into the water, and under the yacht to get the line and buoy which had snared the Monteray free.

"I felt a huge sense of job satisfaction and achievement in being able to help the people on the yacht and allow them to continue on their way," said LET Rigelsford.

Before returning to helicopter and board-and-search training for its autumn deployment, the HMS Dragon crew made sure the yacht was operating at full capacity.

The Navy ship, which hosts more than 200 sailors, is known for versatility beyond its primary role in air defence, for which it has been included in the UK's Carrier Strike Group.

Type 45-class vessels will join a team of Type 23 anti-submarine specialists, Royal Fleet Auxiliary fuel replenishment vessels, and minehunters to support aircraft carriers on deployment.

Cover image: HMS Dragon's sea boat assists the stricken yacht (Picture: Royal Navy).