But over half of ship's 34 passengers already dead

Yesterday afternoon Welsh ARC skipper Nick Lewis of Moody 38Flying Start- pictured above at a fancy dress party with his crew shortly before the start – was 400nm south west of the Canary Islands and 200nm off the coast of Africa when he came across a small craft containing 15 suspected immigrants.

The crew – who call themselves ‘The Welsh Embassy’ – reported the incident to the World Cruising Club, and, after consultation with the
MRCC (Marine Rescue & Coordination Centre) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,Flying Startwas requested to remain with the craft whilst a ship was sent to help rescue the immigrants.

When the hospital ship arrived on the scene at 0430 this morning and rescued the remaining immigrants from their small craft. It was discovered that of the 34 that had initially been on board, only 15 remained, one of whom had recently died.

With the rescue complete,Flying Startstood-down and rejoined the ARC at approximately 0830 this morning. Commenting on the rescue, Nick, a retired solicitor from Bridgend, South Wales said: ‘We did the right thing by the Spanish rescue authorities. It’s been a long hard night and we are now just pleased to have rejoined the ARC and be on our way again towards St.Lucia’.