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World ARC Rally Yacht Strikes Reef off Cairns

By Sue Richards last modified Aug 06, 2008 09:54 AM

Published: 2008-08-06 09:54:20
Countries: Australia

The two crew of World ARC yacht "Asolare", have been successfully evacuated from the yacht, an Amel 54, after it struck a reef approximately 200nm from Cairns Australia in the early hours of Sunday 3rd August. Both Skipper Peter Turner and crewman Tim Wood are safe and well following their helicopter rescue.

The yacht in position 15 52S 149 10E had struck Moore Reef, approximately 52 nautical miles North West of Willis Island in the Coral Sea, whilst en route from Vanuatu to Australia. The Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) was alerted by the New Zealand RCC which had picked up the initial distress call. The Australian RCC then dispatched a fixed wing aircraft and a rescue helicopter to the scene. At 0830 local time both crew were winched aboard the helicopter, which after refuelling at Willis Island Meteorological Station landed the crew at Cairns.

Peter is a veteran sailor with fifty years of experience and Asolare was launched in June 2007. He told waiting reporters in Cairns, "Nowhere is nice to smash into a reef, but if I had to choose somewhere this was as good a place as any. I don't feel bad, I just feel very sad that I've lost a super yacht that was less than a year old."

"Our charts did not show any reef in that area at all. We hit the reef really heavily. There was an amazing crash and immediately she turned over on to her side."

Investigations are now underway to determine whether the yacht, aground and lying on her port side on the reef, can be salvaged.