Yacht's steering damaged in gale

Four British sailors were rescued from their yacht which suffered steering failure and started to leak 300 miles north-west of Cape Finisterre, Spain this morning.

Falmouth Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue of the crew, two of whom are from Kingsbridge, Devon, of the yacht Octagon which was on passage from the Azores to the UK.

After receiving the DSC and EPIRB alerts, Falmouth Coastguard used their long range vessel tracking system (LRIT) to identify the closest vessel which could divert and go to the yacht’s assistance. This was the chemical tanker MTM PRINCESS, on passage to Santander.

The chemical tanker rendezvoused with the yacht at 04.00am this morning. Despite heavy seas, Force 7/8 winds and the darkness all four crew members managed to safely transfer to the tanker. They are now on their way to Spain.

Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager Pete Bullard said:
‘This yacht was a long way from land and on the very edge of our search and rescue area. Despite this, the technology available to us and skill of the chemical tankers Captain has led to all four crew being rescued.’