Crew rescued off Malta in Force 8

Three crew members aboard a French-registered yacht were yesterday rescued some 90 miles off Delimara Point, Malta. On board the 28-foot sailing yachtSamod Seawere its 77-year-old Dutch skipper, an Italian man and an Australian woman, who were plucked to safety in a joint operation by the Italian maritime rescue authorities and the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM).

The yacht had left Crete six days earlier, but was forced to send out a mayday as the wind reached Force eight from the north east and a swell of over five metres was reported in the area.

The vessel was initially assisted by the mv Arcangelo, which was unable to rescue the yacht’s crew because of its high freeboard.

An Italian navy helicopter successfully winched the Italian man and the woman from the yacht between 7 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. The skipper initially refused to leave the vessel, but he was later taken off the yacht by the MV Saipem-FDS, and was expected to arrive in Malta last night.