This morning has been stormy over the southwest although we haven't suffered too badly in the village. I hear though that in other places there have been power cuts and fallen trees. So for a landlubber like me I'm pleased not to be out at sea; the crew of the British registered container ship Napoli may also have wished to be anywhere but at sea when they had to abandon their vessel.
The drama started mid morning about 50 miles south of The Lizard when, for some unspecified reason, Napoli started shipping water through a hole in her hull and flooded her engine room. The 26 crew members made up of several nationalities decided to launch their lifeboat and two helicopters from Culdrose went to their rescue. Initially the severe gale force 9 winds and 30 foot swells made conditions too severe for a winch rescue so the choppers just held their station for a while. Fortunately the weather abated slightly and then the rescue was on! Each plane took 13 crew members off the bouncing rolling ship's lifeboat and got them all back to the Cornish mainland with no major injuries reported.
Latest reports suggest that the stricken vessel will be towed to a French port.
As always with these events the TV interviews afterwards show us the easy modesty of the rescuers as if it's been just another day at the office...