TWO men have been rescued today off the South Devon coast after their vessel broke down and they began drifting out to sea.
The motor vessel called for help but the men on board were unsure of its location.
A statement by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: At 1.18pm Brixham Coastguard was alerted to a faint VHF radio broadcast from the motor vessel Flying Fox calling Hello Hello.
"Brixham Coastguard spoke with the caller who said they had broken down and were drifting out to sea and believed they were in a position one or two nautical miles off Blackpool Sands, but the vessel was finally located some five miles from this location.
"Brixham Coastguard was contacted by the skipper of a nearby vessel called Shiraz who agreed to go the position and locate the motor boat but was unable to find it.
"Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team was called out to search from the shore for the boat. The VHF radio contact had been lost and a PAN PAN message was broadcast to all vessels in the area to keep a look out.
"The casualty used a mobile phone to call Brixham Coastguard who asked them to use red flares which were not spotted.
"Brixham Coastguard asked the casualty to use their buoyant orange smoke float and requested that the merchant vessel NCC Najem, which was transiting the area, look for the smoke ahead of them on their port side but in fact the crew of the tanker NCC Najem spotted the smoke five miles in the opposite direction and to their stern."
Once located, the motor vessel was towed to Dartmouth by the fishing vessel William Harvey.
Deputy Watch Manager at Brixham Coastguard, Matt Thornhill says,
"Be well prepared when you set out to sea and make sure you have the right communications equipment and know what to do in an emergency. Knowledge of emergency radio procedures are important to ensure your broadcast is recognised as a call for help.
"The two men on this boat could not give an accurate location to the Coastguard when they got into difficulty and this hampered efforts to find them. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency recommend using a VHF DSC radio linked to a GPS on your boat which can quickly give an accurate position in an emergency."