Azores to UK: Clyde Challenger dismasted – crew rescued

The Clyde Challenger had been en route to the UK from the Azores after a four-month trip when it was damaged. A Royal Navy warship rescued the 14 crew members who were stranded for two days in the Atlantic Ocean until conditions calmed enough to enable a rescue.

Published 6 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Photo by the Royal Navy

The crew of the Clyde Challenger are recovering from their ordeal after they were rescued when the yacht dismasted and lost its rudder around 400 nautical miles west-south-west of Cape Finisterre.

The 60-foot yacht has now been scuttled so it doesn’t pose a navigational hazard to other shipping.

A Mayday was issued on the evening of 9 February 2017 after Clyde Challenger was hit by a large rogue wave during passage to the UK.

According to the Clyde Challenge Facebook page, the yacht was “sailing well at the time with a fully reefed mainsail”.

“The impact of the wave knocked the yacht on her side. She recovered within a few seconds, however, the mast had been severed at deck level. In addition, the instrument pole at the stern of the yacht was also severed and a number of safety-related items and communication systems were lost,” said the post.

Once the crew of 13 Brits and one American were accounted for and were found not to be in need of urgent medical attention, the crew then “executed the appropriate procedures to alert other vessels in the area of their issue and triggered their long-range satellite emergency beacon.”

The UK Coastguard’s National Maritime Operations Centre coordinated the long-range search and rescue mission.

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