More dramas in the Atlantic for the ARC rally

The first of the cruising division yachts has arrived in St Lucia, but there are dramas for some of the fleet behind them. Double-handed crew Paul Bourgie (71) and Jacques Clermont (65) both from France, were successfully evacuated from their Bavaria 35Arnolf(pictured leaving Las Palmas) after losing their rudder in a collision with a submerged object, possibly a whale.  The ARC yachtBe-Bop-A-Lula, which had reached their position during the night, stood-by until daylight before taking the two French sailors aboard.

Be-Bop-A-Lula’s skipper, Trevor Goodson, described his relief at the successful outcome Luckily, Trevor, who is sailing double-handed with his wife Norma on their Bavaria 47, had delayed leaving Las Palmas by four days for health reasons, so was some 200nm behind the smaller yacht, whenArnolfcalled their Pan-Pan on Friday evening.

Paul and Jacques, tried for 48 hours to control their yacht using emergency rudders which broke and trailing drogues which failed. After becoming exhausted, and increasingly battered by the vicious swell, they decided it would not be possible to save their yacht. Unable to tow them in these conditions, meant that the only option open to Trevor and Norma was an evacuation to the larger BavariaBe-Bop-A-Lula.

There was further drama when ARC yachts TrackerMy WayandOm Shantipicked up a MAYDAY from a Belgian yacht,Allegria, that is not participating in the ARC. One of the double-handed crew onAllegriahad suffered a breakdown and had jumped over board. In the dark, and with an 8ft-10ft swell running, yachtsTracker My Way, MacnoonandSunrisebegan a search, as well as co-ordinating communications with MRCC’s Falmouth (UK) and Fort de France (Martinique).

Sunrise also transferred two crew to Allegria to help sail the yacht. After approximately 4 hours, the casualty, a 30-year old Belgian male was recovered onboard theAllegria. Radio medical advice was provided by a doctor sailing onboard ARC yachtPhaedrus, and communication relays using SSB radio viaMacnoonandGalateia. Owing to the worsening medical condition of the casualty, an urgent request for medical evacuation was called, the casualty was transferred to the British warship HMS Lancaster. All yachts involved have now been stood down by the controlling MRCC’s and have resumed course to St.Lucia.