Pacific Ocean: Crew Rescued from Sinking Catamaran

Three crew members aboard the yacht “One Tree Island” were rescued after they hit a whale while bound for New Zealand. This report by Ocean Cruising Club.

Published 3 years ago

One Tree Island in Shelter Bay Marina – photo by Peter Nielsen

See full report and photos at

Peter Neilsen reported on the OCC Pacific Crossing Facebook group page that the sailing catamaran “One Tree Island”, an Atlantic 46, began taking on water after striking a whale on the 23rd of August.

The hull flooded after a large crack about 2 feet long within a large dent opened in the port hull, but the crew were not able to get to the damaged area to effect repairs. The area was in the forward locker in the main cabin which was difficult to access from inside and was also inaccessible from the outside.

Given the sea state and the extent of flooding, the crew activated the EPIRB and prepared to abandon the vessel.

Six hours after sending the distress signal, the crew were taken on board a Chinese longliner. They spent four nights aboard before being transferred to the RORO vehicle transporter “Tonsberg” bound for Auckland. This was their ultimate destination although they had not planned to get there until December.

(Crew member) Jonathan Lovegren said, “It appeared right in front of us, which is when we hit it, and then passed down the side of the boat after we hit it. Then it stayed on the surface behind us. We were a bit worried it was going to have a go at us.”

Another member of the OCC Facebook group, Kris Adams, noted that they saw the report and plotted the position but were a long distance to the west. It appeared to be a very remote area and they feared that there would be no ships in the vicinity. It was lucky for the crew that there are Chinese longliners out there.

Peter noted, “We had seen lights almost every night and some times AIS. The line markers have AIS beacons on them. We are now authorities on longline fishing!”

Peter added, “Big shout out to the US and Peruvian coastguards, the captain and crew of the “Fi Yeun Yu”, and the master and crew of the “Tonsberg”. The three of us are all well.” He also noted, “..she was a lovely boat, just had a full refit, new engines, rig, sails, etc.”

Despite the sad loss of property, we are very grateful that no lives were lost. The OCC is also grateful to the fishing and merchant marine fleets that come to the aid of yachtsmen in need. It is a very generous international community of ocean-going souls who live by the law of the sea.

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of or World Cruising Club.

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