Four rescued from Moody 376

The skipper whose wife and two crew abandoned their stricken yacht 600 miles off the north-west coast of Spain spoke to YM today from the ship which rescued him.

Mike Arnold, 75, told how Octagon, his Moody 376, broke a steering cable in gale-force winds while on passage from the Azores to Falmouth. They hove-to then the bilge alarm started going off. The boat was making water and nobody could discover why.

Mike, from Kingsbridge, Devon decided to put out a Mayday and activated their EPIRB as the forecast was for continued gales and he thought the boat was going to founder. Falmouth Coastguard contacted the chemical tanker MTM Princess which was just eleven miles away and she changed course to make the rescue.

‘It was a bit hairy,’ Mike said,’the ship gave us some lee and then dropped down onto us but smashed into the boat twice.’ Eventually all four clambered up a rope ladder and the yacht was abandoned. The ship is now on passage to Santander, northern Spain to drop off Mike, his wife Barbara, 65 and two friends David Johnson, and his wife Angela, both 58 from the Midlands.

Barbara said: ‘Falmouth have been absolutely wonderful and we are very grateful to them and the ship which picked us up.’

The Arnolds left Salcombe 12 years ago and have been cruising the Caribbean and the eastern seaboard of the US since then. They were on their way home when the storm struck.