We’d say these guys were pretty lucky in the end, but it’s concerning that they went out in the predicted forecast with presumably under-experienced sailors and that this is the organization’s third rescue in a year. Be sure to read the complete story for all the details.
As the storm that battered the British Isles raged Tuesday morning, the crew of Liquid Vortex, a Beneteau 40.7, issued a Mayday at around 05:30 reporting a steering failure and other difficulties. The alarm was raised as the boat passed Dungeness Point.
The boat and her seven crew are understood to have left Hamble on Monday afternoon for the London Boat Show at Excel before running into difficulties early Tuesday morning. The Met Office shipping forecast for sea areas Thames, Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth in place at the time of the boat’s departure was: “Wind west to southwest force 5 to 7, increasing gale 8 to storm 10 later. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough or high. Squalls in showers, rain later. Good occasionally poor.”
According to the RNLI, shortly after the distress call was made, Dungeness RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat, Pride and Spirit, was launched and arrived to find the training boat floundering after her engine had failed.
“It was pretty horrendous out there by all accounts,” said Judith Richardson, volunteer press officer for Dungeness RNLI.
“Our crew got up alongside Liquid Vortex and our duty coxswain, Mark Richardson, made three attempts to transfer a lifeboat crew member across to them. Their aim was to attach a tow line, but the conditions were just too rough and dangerous to make the transfer. It was blowing Storm Force 11 at the time, so one can only imagine how frightened those onboard the training vessel were.”
“The crew reported that, of seven people aboard Liquid Vortex, only one was in a fit state to assist with the transfer – the remainder were injured or suffering severe seasickness. Our crew eventually managed to transfer a crew member across and attach a tow line, then began towing the vessel to Dover. However, because of the severity of the weather conditions, the tow line broke three times.”
For much more on this story, go to www.yachtingworld.com.