Multihull designer and crew taken off by US warship

Multihull designer Richard Wood and his crew Jetti Mantzke were airlifted from their 32ft catamaran Eclipse off the Pacific coast of Mexico in a 70 mph storm.

The pair had left Nicaragua on Friday 13th – always an inauspicious day for commencing a passage – and soon hit heavy weather. After making satellite phone calls and sending out a Mayday the USS Ford sent a helicopter to rescue them. 

‘The last book I had read was Perfect Storm, so I knew all about the skills and training of naval rescue personnel. We had earlier prepared some dry bags which we filled with passports, money, ship papers,’ Wood said, ‘as I was hoisted out, I looked down and back at Eclipse and hoped I would see her again.’