sail-world.com -- Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea
Tue, 19 Aug 2014
News from far north Queensland has come in of incredible efforts of a crew on the high seas to save one yacht from being lost at sea.
Boats involved in this mayday situation included a Nordhavn 47 called Southern Star (Rob and Jo), a Bavari 40ft Ocean yacht named Oda (Per and Elizabeth) and a Dutch built Koopmans 48ft called Stormvogel (Peter and Heidi).
Three boats, on one vast ocean, as they travelled together from Port Villa, Vanuatu to Cairns, far north Queensland which is a run of approx. 1,300nms. Thirteen hundred long lonely nautical miles with only each other for company and, as it turned out, only each other (and one container ship) for survival.
On June 22nd the yacht Stormvogel informed yacht Oda that it had a problem and was taking on water at an alarming rate. In fact, there was so much water that the floor in the saloon became the new mark. The flow rate was estimated by crew on board at around 20ltrs per minute. With sinking a very, very real possibility the crew aboard Stormvogel focused on trying to find the leak and finding it fast. Meanwhile Oda called Southern Star (Nordhavn) via sat phone to turn around and make haste for their position.
Stormvogel continued to concentrate on finding and stopping the leak, when Oda, after agreement with Stormvogel took responsibility to contact the appropriate rescue organisations. Oda decided that the first call would be to the Norwegian Rescue Centre Hovedredningssentralen in Stavanger, Norway. The reason for this is the crew of Oda had made agreements with them before starting their circumnavigation if anything were to happen that they could call on them for support and coordination, to which they had agreed.
After a short time had passed, Stormvogel found the leak which was around the yachts centre-board, which frustratingly had been newly maintained in New Zealand just a few months earlier. From what the crew could see there were three or four bolts that were broken and centre-board was moving freely like it should never be allowed to do. After some time the crew aboard Stormvogel succeeded in stabilizing the moving centre-board with a piece of wood.
Southern Star at this stage was still some 25nm away but making good speed towards the yacht Stormvogel and Oda.