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Yacht crew rescued from life raft in Caribbean Sea

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 03, 2010 07:48 PM

Published: 2010-06-03 19:48:58
Countries: US Virgin Islands

As reported by Sail-World Cruising

Two crew rescued from life raft after Swan 48 hits mystery object Mon, 31 May 2010

Two crew have been found floating in the Caribbean in their six-man life raft.

They were found more than 24 hours after they broadcast a distress signal that their yacht, the 48ft Swan Victoria, a Club Swan yacht member, had sunk after hitting a submerged object.

Her crew, Skipper Klaus and Chef Martha, who took holidaying sailors for charters around the Caribbean, were experienced professional sailors.

The U.S.Coast Guard rescued the pair, who had been sailing the yacht from St Thomas in the U.S. Virgins to Panama. At the time they were positioned around 100 miles southwest of Puerto Rico when the collision occurred on Saturday.

A Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said that they had received a distress signal from the yacht and immediately commenced the search.

A helicopter was able to locate the raft from the information they had received, and airlifted them to safety in Puerto Rico.

Both crew were very experienced. Klaus, who is originally Austrian, holds a 100 ton Captain License and has had many years of experience crewing on yachts and making delivery passages, before becoming skipper of the Victoria.

Martha, who is originally from Chihuahua in Mexico, gained a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering before meeting Karl and making her new home in the Caribbean, acting as chef and crew on the Victoria.

by Nancy Knudsen