UK Government

Maritime And Coastguard Agency: Falmouth Coastguard co-ordinate rescue of five from yacht off Cape Verde Islands

Press Release   •   Dec 02, 2009 11:56 GMT

Falmouth Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue of five British crew from a sailing yacht 325 nautical miles west of the Cape Verde Islands overnight.

They were contacted by the 55 foot steel sailing yacht 'Pelican' yesterday at just before 13:30 (GMT). The crew, who were taking part in the Arc Rally from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia, reported that they had sustained damage to their rigging and had a rope wrapped around their propeller. 

At just before 17:00 (GMT) it became clear that the damage to the vessel could not be repaired and the vessel was unable to safely return to the Cape Verde Islands. The vessel declared Mayday and Falmouth Coastguard broadcast an appeal for assistance to vessels in the area.

At 18:00 (GMT) the Woodchip carrier 'Crimson Mars' who were 35 nautical miles from the distress yacht offered assistance and proceeded to their position. In two metre seas and force five winds the vessel transferred the crew from the stricken yacht. All the crew are safe and well and they are now headed for Gibraltar.

Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager Marc Thomas said:

"Thanks to the assistance of the merchant vessel Crimson Mars we were able to rescue the crew of the Pelican from their precarious position in the Atlantic. This incident demonstrates the real value of the global satellite communications systems that these racing yachts carry which is essential equipment for any vessel engaged in offshore passage making."

Notes to Editors
The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities. Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector.

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