Royal Navy stand by dismasted Aviva in storm swept Bay of Biscay

At 0630 Falmouth Coastguard were contacted by the Race Control of the Transat Ecover B to B race reporting that Dee Caffari’s yacht, Aviva, had been dismasted in rough weather with the forecast worsening.

The Aviva was in a position 140 miles North West of the Spanish Coast which placed the vessel 8 miles within the UK Search and Rescue region.

Dee is safe on board the yacht and the weather has steadily improved throughout the day. She has had to cut away the mast and is able to steer the Aviva but has a limited amount of fuel onboard to enable her to get the vessel to land for repair.

Falmouth Coastguard contacted the Royal Navy to ascertain whether there were any warships in the area. The Royal Navy confirmed that HMS Northumberland which has been operating in the Mediterranean and is en route back to Devonport for Christmas was in a position approximately 90 miles away from the Aviva could divert to assist. They are expected to arrive on scene at 23.00 hours this evening and will assess what help they can give on arrival.

Andy Cattrell, Watch Manager, Falmouth Coastguard said:

Whilst this is not a distress situation at the moment, incidents such as this can sometimes deterioriate very quickly into one. It is prudent to get some assistance to this yachtswoman to enable her to get to safety as at the moment she has limited means of propulsion.

We are very grateful to the Royal Navy for responding to the call for assistance and diverting from their home passage back to Devonport for Christmas leave.