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Rescue within reach of Horta

by Daria Blackwell / OCC 3 Jul 04:25 UTC

Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne rescued a solo sailor whose yacht struck a whale near Horta.

On June 24, OCC Members Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne were approaching their interim destination, Horta, after a 16-day crossing from Grenada aboard Aqualuna, their Discovery 58. They were contacted by the Azorean Coast Guard and asked to divert to assist a sailor being forced to abandon ship. They were 13 miles downwind from the sailing vessel Matroos when the coast guard called. They complied readily and proceeded to the location of the stricken vessel.

The skipper, Sam Stone, was very calm and gave his position and problem clearly and professionally. He was on his way to Cowes in the Isle of Wight. He was still on the yacht when they arrived, but the life raft was launched and tied on. The crew of Aqualuna advised Sam to get in the life raft and they came alongside him and gave him a halliard to attach to his life jacket. They then helped him on to Aqualuna using the halliard. The sea was far too rough to go alongside his yacht.

Aqualuna continued on to Horta without further incident. Sam was single-handing when Matroos hit a whale amongst a pod of whales 37 miles off Horta. The yacht was abandoned as it was taking on water through broken keel bolts. The Lynes believe the yacht sank quickly and would not pose a hazard to navigation.

Matroos was not a member of the OCC Atlantic Crossing group but was registered with the Trans-Ocean e.V. rolling home fleet as heading from Guadeloupe to Cowes. The admins of the OCC group informed the Trans-Ocean fleet admin of the rescue.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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