Drama for Army yacht

Adventure, a Challenge 67, crewed by 14 soldiers of the Royal Corps of Signals, has been involved in a dramatic rescue on the high seas whilst taking part in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

The 50-ton yacht yacht was off the New South Wales coast of Australia heading for Tasmania and the crew were recovering from gale force winds and big seas when they heard Australian yacht Koomooloo calling on the radio that they were taking on water and preparing to abandon ship.

Adventure arrived at Koomaloo’s position 40 minutes later and found her low in the water with her eight man crew bailing hard to keep the yacht afloat.

By this time a rescue helicopter had arrived on the scene and Adventure was requested to take the Koomooloo crew off. The crew of Koomooloo abandoned ship into a liferaft which was blown down wind to Adventure and the crew were assisted aboard, wet but relieved.

Once aoard, the crew of Adventure did all they could to make their new shipmates comfortable as they watched Koomooloo gradually get lower in the water and slip away behind Adventure. A couple of hours later they were transferred to an Australian police launch and taken ashore.

Adventure’s skipper Major Charles Roberts, 33, said: “Adventure was in the right place at the right time and we were glad that we were able to assist. Our sympathy goes out to the crew of Koomooloo at the loss of their yacht – they took it well given the circumstances and even got in a few jokes about the cricket before they left! Since the rescue, we have continued racing and are hoping to catch up some of our lost positions before the end of the race.”