Azores: Sailor Rescued Within Reach of Horta

Ocean Cruising Club Members Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne rescued a solo sailor whose yacht struck a whale near Horta, Azores.

Published 4 years ago

Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne
Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne

As published by Ocean Cruising Club

On June 24, Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) members Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne were approaching their interim destination, Horta, after a 16-day crossing from Grenada aboard their yacht Aqualuna.

On their approach to the Azores they were contacted by the Azorean Coast Guard and asked to divert to assist a sailor being forced to abandon ship.

At the time Aqualuna was 13 miles downwind from the sailing vessel in distress, UK yacht Matroos. Gabriele and Jonathan readily complied and proceeded to the location of the stricken vessel.

Skipper was calm and professional

Sam Stone, the skipper of Matroos, was very calm and gave his position and problem clearly and professionally. He had been single-handing on passage to Cowes (Isle of Wight, UK) when his yacht struck a whale amongst a pod of whales 37 miles off Horta and started taking on water. He had to now abandon ship.

When Aqualuna arrived on the scene, Sam was still on the yacht with the liferaft launched and tied on. Sam was advised to get in the liferaft as the sea was far too rough for Aqualuna to come alongside Matroos. Gabriele and Jonathan then managed to pass Sam a halyard to attach to his life jacket which they then used to get him aboard Aqualuna.

Matroos was abandoned as it was taking on water through broken keel bolts. It is believed the yacht sank quickly and would not pose a hazard to navigation.

Aqualuna continued on to Horta with Sam on board without further incident. 

Matroos was not a member of the OCC Atlantic Crossing group, but instead was registered with the Trans-Ocean e.V. rolling home fleet as heading from Guadeloupe to Cowes. The admins of the OCC group informed the Trans-Ocean fleet admin of the rescue.

Yacht under sail
SV Aqualuna

Reproduced with permission from Ocean Cruising Club and Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne.

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