Yacht abandoned after storm damage, Royal Navy rescued crew of 14
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Yacht abandoned after storm damage, Royal Navy rescued crew of 14

Yacht abandoned after storm damage, Royal Navy rescued crew of 14

13 February 2017 - 12:00 - Update: 13 February 2017 - 13:24


The crew of Type 45 destroyer HMS "Dragon" have rescued the 14 crew members of the "Clyde Challenger" in treacherous weather conditions on Feb 11, 2017, after the yacht suffered damage in the Atlantic. HMS "Dragon" was diverted 500 miles away from a routine tasking. The "Clyde Challenger", which was based at Kip Marina, Inverkip, could not be recovered and has been scuttled. The Royal Navy warship was diverted from 500 miles away to carry out the rescue after the vessel suffered damage in bad weather and sent an emergency beacon alert, which was picked up by the UK Coastguard on Feb 9 at 8 p.m. They were aided by another vessel and a cargo ship and reported they had made a temporary rudder in the morning of Feb 10, but damage to the mast and sails meant they were unusable and in the afternoon it was decided the crew needed rescuing. The "Clyde Challenger" had been on a voyage from the Caribbean that started on Jan 9 and was called the Ultimate Atlantic Challenge. The yacht had left the Azores on Feb 5 and was bound for the UK when it suffered significant damage following days of strong winds and heavy seas. The HMS "Dragon" arrived at the boat on Feb 11 afternoon. A number of UK and US aircraft were involved in the operation, providing communications assistance. Several merchant shipping vessels went to "Clyde Challenger"'s aid and attempted rescues but were thwarted by the conditions some 610 miles south west of Land's End. When HMS "Dragon" arrived on scene at 2.30 p.m. it was clear the yacht had lost its mast and looked in a pretty desperate state after nearly 48 hours drifting in the challenging conditions. The crew, however, was alive and well. Despite racing through the night there were only three hours of daylight remaining in which to safely remove the crew. Luckily HMS "Dragon" was fitted with two large sea boats capable of carrying six passengers each and was able to use both boats to transfer the crew as quickly as possible. The prevailing weather conditions and notorious Atlantic swell made it enormously challenging though and really tested the skills of the experienced sea boat coxswains. Despite sustaining significant damage in the evening of Feb 9, the "Clyde Challenger" continued to provide safe refuge for her crew until they could be transferred with minimal risk off the yacht by the UK Navy. Once safely on board HMS "Dragon" the crew were afforded medical attention, hot food and the opportunity to call their relatives at home. While the crew had suffered only minor injuries, the yacht’s master determined the "Clyde Challenger" could not be safely recovered to the mainland so she has been scuttled with the assistance of the UK Navy. Before, many recovery options were investigated with the co-operation of the coastguard, salvage agents and insurers. Due to her current position, the seven to 10-day forecast, risk to other vessels and considering the damage sustained it was concluded that the only safe option was to ensure the vessel posed no further risk to person or marine traffic. Owner Glenn Porter stated that the immediate task now was to get the crew back home and provide all co-operation necessary to the authorities investigating the incident. The boat, which was chartered for corporate and charitable clients, has featured as an attraction at Scotland's Boat Show, held at its base, Kip Marina. 

 

Source: VesselTracker.Com
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