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NARC Rally Participants Abandon Ship in Rough Seas

By Sue Richards last modified Nov 10, 2011 02:00 PM

Published: 2011-11-10 14:00:21
Topics: Rallies
Countries: Bermuda , USA

Reported 9 November by

The North American Rally To The Caribbean (NARC) was disrupted by the weekend’s savage storms, with the cargo ship Oleander picking up four survivors from one abandoned yacht on Sunday.

Another participating vessel was helped into the island by the pilot boat St. George and the tug Powerful on Monday.

Bermuda Maritime Operations Center reported Monday morning that continuing high winds and occasional gale-force conditions at sea had played havoc with the cruising rally participants who set out from Rhode Island for Bermuda on October 30.

“At approximately 3:30 pm (Sunday), the crew of M/V Oleander was involved in the successful recovery of four survivors from the 46 foot sailing vessel Elle a NARC rally participant, located approximately 200 miles northwest of Bermuda,” said a Maritime Operations spokesman.

The captain of Elle decided to abandon their vessel having encountered steering failure & subsequent injury to a crew member — bruised ribs — in 30 to 35 knot winds with seas ranging from 20 to 30 feet.

“The Oleander, en route, from New Jersey to Bermuda was diverted to the distress position and has since arrived in Hamilton Harbor this morning where the crew members were landed ashore. One of the survivors wished to express his gratitude for the professionalism shown by the captain and crew of the Oleander during the rescue operation.”

The Oleander is operated by Bermuda Container Lines.

Early Monday morning another NARC rally participant, the 49-foot Riot suffered steering failure on final approach to St. George’s Harbor and issued a distress call.

“Bermuda Maritime Operations Center tasked the Pilot boat St. George and tug Powerful to assist the vessel with winds averaging 30 to 35 knots during the rescue operation and attempts being made to keep the sailing vessel clear of the reef structure,” said the Marine Operations spokesman. “The yacht Riot, with six persons onboard, was safely guided into St. George’s Harbor a short while later.”

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