Fishermen Plucked From Sea After Inmarsat C Alert
One fisherman has died and two more are missing, presumed dead, following a dramatic sea rescue in which Inmarsat communications played a central role.
Seven crew members of The Dinish were saved after the Irish-registered trawler, sailing from Spain to Ireland, sank about 170 miles south-west of the Scilly Isles late on May 24.
A mayday call was sent from the vessel by radio at about 20:30 UTC. It was picked up by Yarmouth Coastguard, who forwarded the message to Falmouth Coastguard.
Inmarsat C alert
Falmouth quickly re-broadcast the mayday via Inmarsat C and the alert was picked up by the vessels Stena Contest and Stolt Capability, close to the last reported position of The Dinish.
Steve Huxley of Falmouth Coastguard - who was on duty during the rescue - praised the effectiveness of Inmarsat C for alerting shipping in an emergency.
"In the 10 years or so that I have been involved, I can't think of any occasion when there has been no response to an alert over Inmarsat C," he said.
Six members of the mainly Spanish crew were rescued from a lifeboat by RAF helicopter and transferred to the Stena Contest.
Call via Inmarsat
As the survivors spoke only Spanish, the crew of the Stena Contest used their Inmarsat equipment to call the Spanish authorities, who translated their responses to questions about the rest of the stricken vessel's crew. Four members of The Dinish's 10-man crew were found to be still missing.
Two of the four were located, lifted from the water and taken aboard the Stolt Capability shortly after 00:15 UTC on May 25, but one of the men died as he was being transferred by helicopter to hospital in Cork.
The search for the remaining two crew members was called off at 06:15 UTC on May 25.
No trace has been found of The Dinish, which is thought to have sunk within a few minutes of its initial mayday.
For more information about Inmarsat and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), visit www.inmarsat.com/safety