ARC Yacht Abandoned after Fatality Mid-Atlantic

Tragedy struck this year’s ARC Rally when a sailor on board a yacht in the racing division was fatally injured 500 miles west of the Canaries. All three crew members were evacuated to a cruise ship and the yacht abandoned.

Published 3 years ago

Skipper Philippe Anglade (left) with Max Delannoy (in companionway) preparing for the start of the 2021 ARC in Las Palmas.

Crew member Max Delannoy on board the ARC yacht Agecanonix was fatally injured during the night of 26/27 November.

The three-man, all French crew, were sailing Agecanonix, an X-Yachts X4.3, as part of the ARC IRC Racing Division, and had opted for a course well to the north of the rhumb line route to Saint Lucia, aiming to avoid the light winds affecting the southerly route close to Cape Verde.

Yachting World report that Delannoy, 73, was struck by the boom but the yacht’s crew were able to prevent him from falling overboard.

On a Facebook page set up for those following Agecanonix’s crossing, family member Stéphanie Barrière reported: “Our dear Max was a victim of an accident last night, when he was just taking the helm for his night shift, the boom violently hit him in the head. Philippe, who was in the cockpit, was able to hold him back from falling into the water, but he died suddenly.”

A MAYDAY call was made from the Agecanonix around midnight on 26/27th requesting a medical evacuation. Sadly, injured crew member Max Delannoy was declared dead before any outside help could be provided.

MRCC France Gris-Nez were initially involved in controlling the incident, before passing over to MRCC Ponta Delgada in the Azores, as the closest station to the Agecanonix. At the request of MRCC, the cruise ship PV Mein Schiff 1, diverted to evacuate Philippe Anglade, who was also injured, Jean-Philippe Anglade and the body of Max Delannoy.

PV Mein Schiff 1 arrived at the distress position as planned around 21:30 UTC (27 Nov). Weather locally was easterly Force 8, with rough seas of 4-5 metres.

The larger vessel was positioned to create a lee for the rescue operation. After assessing the situation, the ship’s rescue boat was deployed and started approaching Agecanonix. During this time winds started gusting to +40kts and Agecanonix started moving out of control and the rescue operation had to be aborted. PV Mein Schiff 1 then remained in the vicinity waiting for the weather to improve and for daylight.

At around 14:00 UTC today, 28th November, MRCC Ponta Delgada reported that the rescue operation was successfully completed, with both crew and the deceased safely on board, and PV Mein Schiff 1 had set course for Funchal, Madeira.

The Agecanonix has been abandoned at approximate position 29° 3.71 N, 026° 30.38 W and continues to be tracked by MRCC via the on-board YB tracker.

In their statement on the incident ARC organisers World Cruising Club added; “Our thoughts are very much with the Anglade and Delannoy families during this sad and difficult time.

World Cruising Club would also like to express their sincere gratitude to all the staff at the MRCC’s involved in coordinating the incident, and in particular to the Captain, officers and crew of PV Mein Schiff 1.”

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