Three separate rescue incidents over the weekend
It has been a busy weekend for the World Cruising Club, organisers of the ARC 2007, which started last Sunday (25/11/07). In the first incident, crew member Alla Byazina, from the Russian-crewed Volvo 60 AAG Big One suffered extensive scalding in a galley accident on Thursday (29/11) that occurred during a gybe in the fast trade wind conditions. The on-call doctor at MRCC Falmouth decided that an evacuation was required and the racing yacht met with a cargo ship – the MV Goodrich Bay – early the next day. The tricky transfer was completed and the ship assumed course for the Spanish Island of La Palma with the casualty onboard.
In a further incident, again on 29th, two ARC yachts assisted with the rescue of migrants they encountered. Yacht Tallulah had notified MRCC Tenerife of the location of the migrants, when two crew from the migrant vessel boarded the yacht If Only, as the yacht’s crew attempted to assist them.
The Spanish Navy operate constant intervention patrols in the waters between the Canary Islands and West Africa and were notified of the situation. Both yachts had to remain on station all night and by mid-morning the Intervention Patrol was on station and able to evacuate the migrants to safety. Both ARC yachts have now resumed course to St. Lucia.
Then on Saturday, British yacht GiGi – a Swan 48 – picked up a Mayday call from yacht Barbary Duck (not participating in the ARC), advising that the crew were in a liferaft. GiGi, competing in the RORC IRC Racing Division, immediately stopped racing to alter course and assist the crew of the British Westerly Corsair, approximately half a nautical mile from them (over 600 nautical miles northwest of the Cape Verdes)
Once on station, the two crew members on Barbary Duck were safely brought on board. The smaller Westerly, whose crew had already been in contact with MRCC Falmouth, had suffered broken deck chain-plates and was in danger of dismasting. Without a functioning engine, the crew took the precaution of abandoning their yacht, which has been left afloat, but with navigation lights burning.
GiGi has now resumed racing and is on course once more for St.Lucia.