Lone yachtsman safe after North Sea rescue

The rescue as it happened. Photo: Norwegian coastguard

AN 82-year-old lone yachtsman whose boat lost its steering in bad weather in the North Sea is now onboard a Norwegian coastguard vessel and is headed to Bergen.

Shetland coastguard coordinated the rescue of the man after the rudder of his boat Harrier of Down was broken at roughly 9pm on Tuesday evening around 90 miles to the east of Lerwick.


At one point the 25-foot yacht drifted to about half a mile from the North Alwyn oil rig, which put its staff to muster stations.

The standby vessel Vos Protector attended as the man, believed to be round the world sailor Julie Mustoe, only had VHF communications and was unable to contact the shore station. He initially refused to be taken off his vessel. Mustoe had left Lerwick last Thursday.

The Norwegian coastguard cutter Bergen came to the scene but had to wait until the weather calmed before putting a tow line on the yacht. The man, who was travelling between Lerwick and Norway, is now onboard the vessel.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency say the process of taking the boat to Bergen may take “some hours” due to the weather.

There was a seven metre swell in the area this morning.