French Navy on standby to help rescue operation

Gipsy Moth IV remains aground on a small reef on the north shore of the island of Rangiroa, near Tahiti, in the South Pacific.

Local salvage expert Bruno Videau, whose team has been on site assessing the situation, has recommended the vessel be lifted while repairs to make her watertight are conducted.

A substantial ‘skid’ would also be constructed beneath the hull to prevent further damage while the yacht is moved to deep water. Captain Kleijwegt of SMIT Salvage will soon be on site to add the weight of his considerable expertise to the safe recovery of Gipsy Moth IV.

The French Navy has offered assistance by providing a relief tug to authorities in Tahiti, allowing a tug with 40 tonnes of pulling power to be dispatched from the Island. The tug is 15 hours steaming time away from Rangiroa Atoll and its arrival at the scene will be carefully coordinated to coincide with the completion of the preparatory works to the boat. When the time is right the vessel will be moved into deep water and a tow will be effected hopefully to take the boat to Tahiti for further repairs.

Time continues to be a critical element in this rescue operation in preventing further damage to the hull. It is anticipated that attempts to move the vessel will begin in the next couple of days.