The five crew members of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) yacht Noah were successfully evacuated from the BM41 clipper yacht after it started to take on water yesterday, 23 November.

The crew members, all from Germany, were evacuated onto the Royal Research Ship James Cook (90m LOA) at 16:45, following a Mayday call by the yacht.

The crew of Noah.

The crew of Noah. Credit:

The rescue was coordinated by MRCC Tenerife with assistance from several ARC boats close to the position.

At 1218 (UTC) yesterday, ARC rally control was contacted by Alex Grefrath, skipper of ARC yacht Noah via email to advise them that the yacht was taking on significant volumes of water, the source of which could not be identified.

Whilst remedial action was taken to stem the in-flow, the crew were unable to locate the source of the water leak.

A Mayday was issued at 1409, as electric pumps were no longer functioning and manual pumps unable to control the flow.

The distress alert was received by fellow ARC yachts Ocean Dream, White Satin, Step by Step 2 and RRS James Cook.

They announced via All Ships call their intention to accept assistance from James Cook, releasing ARC vessels to continue.

MRCC Tenerife coordinated the evacuation of the crew, which comprised the Grefrath family, skipper Alexander; his wife Alexandra, their two sons aged 10 and 12, and fellow crewmember Jörg Zeibig.

After the Noah was evacuated safely, the RSS James Cook left station at approximately 16:45 (UTC) headed for Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with an expected arrival of early tomorrow morning on 25 November.

The abandoned yacht is being tracked via its YB3 satellite tracker and is expected to sink completely during the night. Vessels in the area have been advised.

212 yachts depart from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and head for Saint Lucia. ©James Mitchell/WCC

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