THE early hours of yesterday morning witnessed a dramatic rescue off the beach at Son Maties of four British tourists who had lost control of their vessel and run aground.
The incident happened some 300 metres away from the shore when, apparently due to bad weather and heavy seas, the anchor system came under intense strain and snapped, casting the Dash-2 launch suddenly adrift. There were moments of high tension amongst the crew as the craft started to drag with it the protection cordon that sections off coastal waters for bathers. The line became caught in the propellors of the craft, leaving the navigation system totally inoperative.
Emergency services were notified and a swift rescue operation was mounted. First to arrive on the scene were the Local Police from Andratx, who with the aid of a Zodiac launch were able to get close to the stricken vessel and set about getting the crew of the Dash-2 to safety.
Police on the Zodiac rapid response vessel were able to ascertain that all four crew members were middle-aged Britons. According to eye witness reports and the accounts of the crew members themselves, the launch had been anchored some 300 metres from the shore line. When it went adrift after the anchor system snapped, it drifted uncontrollable towards the beach where it lodged on a sandy bluff.
It was fortunate that none of the crew members aboard the Dash-2 were injured. The police accompanied them to the Hotel Son Matías where they spent the night prior to attempting to find solutions to the calamity the following day.