36 teens on board training vessel

Nearly 50 people, including 36 teenagers, are in danger south of the Isles of Scilly after their brig was dismasted in Force 9 winds.

The master of the Polish-registered training vessel, Fryderyk Chopin, alerted the MCA at 0803 today after losing one of its two 120ft masts 99 miles south-west of the archipelago.

He said that the 180ft square rigger was in danger of also losing its second mast.

James Instance, Falmouth Coastguard’s regional coordination centre manager, said: “There are currently 47 people aboard the training vessel, no injuries have been incurred and the vessel is awaiting tow.

‘We are constantly monitoring the situation and staying in touch with the master.’

A container ship, Narissa, responded to calls for assistance. It is sheltering the training vessel and will take the crew on board if they are forced to abandon ship.

It is hoped that the brig can be towed to safety and a Royal Navy rescue helicopter is on standby in the Scillies.

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Picture courtesy of Matt Dale.