Three sailors from a Dutch cargo ship were rescued from a deserted island hours after getting lost in foggy conditions after going out for a night of drinking.
They left a bar around 3:45 a.m. March 20 to return to their ship and got lost in dense fog blanketing the Bristol Channel, Military Times reported.
An “extensive” search began after the men, who are Russian, Dutch and Philippine nationals, were reported missing for a 7 a.m. check-in, Wales Online reported.
Coastguard helicopter, coastguard rescue teams and RNLI Lifeboats searching for 3 Russian crew, missing from vessel anchored in Bristol Channel. The 3 crew had come ashore to Barry in a rhib and left Barry in the early hours to head back to the ship. pic.twitter.com/hU0YWT2KI8— Maritime&Coastguard (@MCA_media) March 21, 2019
The search included five Royal National Lifeboat Institution vessels and a Coastguard helicopter.
The stranded sailors were very cold but found safe on Flat Holm Island around 8:30 a.m.
“They were very lucky we were here,” Richard Twinning, an ecologist and the island’s only inhabitat, told the Penarth News. “We are only on the island three weeks out of four and on that fourth week it is uninhabited. I asked the men if they would be in trouble with the captain when they got back and one very sheepishly told me, ‘I am the captain.’”
Twinning gave the men blankets and offered them hot tea and porridge. Then he called rescuers who met the men back at the beach, the Penarth News reported.
They were taken back to Barry and later returned to their ship, the Penarth News reported.
“We are safe, and we just want to thank the friendly people here,” they said in a release, Sky News reported.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.