Yacht Frangipani's position unknown for 12 days

Organisers of the 2008 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as the German 39, Frangipani, arrived safely in St Lucia.

The yacht lost all long-range communications after a lightning strike on 30 November and was not heard from again until 11 December.

MRCC Vieux-Fort, the appropriate maritime rescue service, were alerted and a message to all ships in the vicinity was sent asking for any sighting of the yacht to be reported.

Following the strike the skipper, Harry Glab, discovered that his VHF, deliberately isolated from the rest of his communication systems, was working perfectly.

However, despite seeing three yachts, none were listening out on Channel 16 so he was unable to report his position.

The crew both knew that people would be getting increasingly concerned so they continued to make every effort to report their position, making regular broadcasts whether or not they could see another vessel.

Only on Day 12 was their message picked up and relayed to ARC Control in Cowes and the emergency services stood down.

Harry said: “This incident highlights just how important it is for yachts to listen out on Channel 16 particularly when there is another yacht in sight”