Mirabella V aids crew after skipper's medical problems force yacht abandonment

This year’s ARC is proving a dramatic one. A migrant ship was assisted by a British yacht last week, and, late on Sunday evening, a Mayday alert was sent from Nicholson 32Compromiseafter crew became seriously concerned about the mental health of their skipper, Canadian Jos Brosnan, to the extent that they felt that safety onboard was being compromised.

Sailing yachtMirabella V,(pictured left), at 75.22m(247 ft) the largest single masted yacht in the world, responded to the call from the co-ordinating Coastguard Centre MRCC Falmouth to assist whilst the ARC organisers contacted the crew’s families to advise them of the situation.

Following medical advice received via MRCC Falmouth, it was agreed that Mr Brosnan required urgent treatment for his condition and could not safely remain onboard his yacht. Brosnan was subsequently evacuated toMirabella Vlast night at approximately 1930UTC. With a second crewmember, practising A&E Doctor, Sophie Quinney from Weybridge needing to accompany Mr Brosnan to continue medical care, it was decided that it would be unsafe for the third crewman, retired Irish fisherman Finbarr Murphy, to remain on the yacht alone.

All three were therefore been evacuated to theMirabella V, andCompromisewas abandoned.Mirabella Vis now en route to Antigua.

Peta Stuart-Hunt, PR Manager for World Cruising Club, clarified the situation, reporting that skipper Brosnan ‘suffers from a medical condition controlled by drugs and it appears that through a combination of not taking his medication, exhaustion and possible seasickness, his condition got out of control.’ The yacht was in considerable swell and about 25kts of wind at the time of the incident.

Commenting on the boat being abandoned, Peta said that as it was a SOLAS issue – Safety of Life at Sea – people’s lives had to be prioritised over the boat. The mast light has been left burning.

ARC organiser and World Cruising Club Director Andrew Bishop, commented: ‘This has been a difficult time for all involved, and especially distressing for Mr Brosnan. I would particularly like to thank the staff at MRCC Falmouth, and the master and crew of Mirabella V for their help .’