Sunday January 27th. 12:34N 72:53W
John & Irene Hunt
Sun 27 Jan 2008 16:15
What an Australia Day that was! Instead of sitting in Clive Park with all our mates having a good old Aussie BBQ, we were combing the Caribbean Sea looking for three poor fisherman who had abandoned their fishing boat at 04:30. Tillymint saved one thank goodness.
The ship's log notes in part;
Intercepted radio communication between Curacao Coast Guard Aircraft 001& Tillymint (one of the yachts in our rally) concerning MOB situation. Last known position of MOB was 13:27N 70:24W at 04:30. Tillymint has apparently picked up 1 person and 3 remain in the water 1 in a white (later changed to blue) vest the others naked. The CG thinks the MOB are from the fishing boat 'Vegas' out of St. Lucia. The MOB location is approximately 14nm to the NW of our position and after contacting the CG Aircraft on Channel 16 they asked us to assist. 08:10 we shortened sail, started the motor and changed course to the 04:30 last known position.
CG Aircraft is centring the search pattern on wreckage located at 13:26N 70:25W. We continue to head for the 04:30 position still 10nm distant.
The Curacao Coastguard aircraft coordinated the search to the west of the wreck site until the arrival of the Coast Guard vessel 'Jaguar' which took control as the aircraft had returned to Curacao to refuel and a crew change. Jaguar sent a small craft to Tillymint, interviewed the skipper and took charge of the sole survivor. Jaguar delegated the coordination of the WRAC yachts to SP (we had the most effective radio) and we instituted, under Jaguar's command, a sweep of the
area up to 15nm west of the wreck site. Our yachts held station around 1-2nm apart and ran downwind until the 15nm mark and then made a 180° turn and searched back towards the site. This happened all afternoon from Jaguar's arrival at 14:10 local time until our release at 18:15 to 18:30. Tillymint, Gray Lady, Strega, Harmonie and Blue Flyer all took part in the sweep.
Our guess from the state of the sea, and that there was only one life vest between three that they would have succumbed to the deep a long time before the end of our search.
The World ARC web site should probably have up to date news.
It was an exhausting day for all of us and the last thing we need was the twistle rig going over the side, but that is tomorrows story!
Keep the faith!