56 rescued in South Atlantic

The US Transportation Agency has launched an investigation into what caused a 57m sailing ship carrying 40 students and sixteen crew to capsize and sink. The Canadian-registered three-masted barquentine, Concordia, sank in the South Atlantic on passage from Recife, Brazil to Montevideo, Uruguay. Three Britons were among those rescued after spending 48 hours in a liferaft.

Sarah Calascione, 19, from Kingston-upon-Thames said the ship sank in 15 seconds. The crew had received a forecast which included gale warnings and thunder storms, but William Curry, Concordia’s captain said he had never experienced such
bad weather in 40 years of sailing.  The students paid £25,000 each for the five-month adventure voyage.

All passengers and crew were rescued from liferafts and lifeboats after a military spotter plane located a EPIRB signal and naval surface ships were sent to the scene.