French crew rescued off the Needles

The Needles, off the Isle of Wight Credit: Press Association

Two French crew on their yacht have been escorted safely into Cowes after broadcasting a Mayday when one crew member fell overboard, off the Needles.

Solent Coastguard received the Mayday broadcast from the sailing yacht Bridailly in French.

Officers scrambled the coastguard rescue helicopter from and requested the launch of the Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat. The vessel and crew were located in the Hurst Narrows (Needles) and escorted into Cowes.

Steven Mann at Solent Coastguard said:

"We needed to ask the caller questions so we called on our counterparts in France at MRCC Joburg to help with the language barrier.

We connected our radios to the French phone system to enable our colleagues to communicate directly with the casualty vessel using the needles channel 16 aerial. "