The five crew members of British yacht Pelican were evacuated from onboard their 53 foot Roberts design last last night (Tuesday 01 December) following a rig failure, approximately 325 nautical miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The Singapore flagged merchant vessel Crimson Mars diverted to assist the yacht at the request of MRCC Falmouth, after skipper Darryl Saxton called a MayDay yesterday afternoon citing the ‘unacceptable risk to his crew’ of remaining aboard, as the yacht was also unable to motor and the rig was considered to be in a dangerous condition following several failures. MRCC Falmouth and MRCC Ponta Delgada (Azores) were involved in co-ordinating the evacuation of the yacht with the merchant ship.
At approximate position 18º 01N 030º 27’W, the MV Crimson Mars rendezvoused with the Pelican, and as the yacht was unable to manoeuvre, the ship’s Master decided to transfer the cre w of the Pelican via line and lifebuoy. All crew were safely aboard by 0200 hours. The MV Crimson Mars is now en route to Gibraltar and the Pelican has been abandoned; the owner having taken the decision not to scuttle the yacht. At the time of the incident, weather conditions were around F4 ENE with a swell of up to 2 metres.
All 5 crew of the Pelican, are from the United Kingdom, and the yacht was taking part in the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which departed Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 22 November.