Bulk Carrier picks up couple from dismasted yacht

Falmouth Coastguard yesterday received a signal from an EPIRB alerting them to a yacht in distress in the South Atlantic. The yacht Brilliance was on passage from South Georgia to Cape Town when it encountered problems with its mast 500 miles South West of Tristan Da Cunha and 800 miles from South Georgia. HM Coastguard said that the yacht was in danger of dismasting, and that the crew, Mike and Iris Clelford, both from Cornwall, were worried that the mast might punch a hole in the hull.

Falmouth established e-mail contact with the couple and established that they were both safe and well and had a liferaft on standby for evacuation if necessary. The Pan Voyager, a bulk carrier with a 25 passenger capacity rescued the two casualties at 1930 yesterday evening.

Falmouth MRCC Watch Manager James Instance said, “We are pleased to report that the male and female aboard the yacht Brilliance have now been rescued into the vessel Pan Voyager and are bound for Columbo, Sri Lanka with an expected arrival date of the 7th March.

We were amazed to receive a distress call from a couple adrift in the South Atlantic who are indeed locals and own a café [The Castle Beach Cafe in Falmouth] just a short walk from our Coastguard Station and are glad to bring this incident to a successful conclusion with both casualties safe and well.”

It would appear that Brilliance had experienced problems with her rig before: The website ‘South Georgia Island Welcome’ reported in January that “The yacht “Brilliance” arrived after a lengthy trip from the Falklands of 12 days. Much of the journey was under reduced sail as a mast stay had broken. They managed to save the mast by making a temporary repair at sea… The couple aboard intended to stay just three days in South Georgia and did well to achieve repairs and leave after just eight days following all their misfortunes.”