Italian crew rescued in Southern Ocean

The 148,000 dwt tanker Hellespont Trooper has rescued the crew of a dismasted yacht in the Southern Ocean. Two Italian nationals were rescued safe and well from the 34ft yacht Onitron at 1800 GMT yesterday. The vessel was alerted by New Zealand and Chilean authorities on April 5th and asked to divert to the yacht, which had lost mast and power in a remote area of the Southern Ocean, about 3,500 miles West of the Southern tip of South America.

Despite strong winds and a heavy swell the vessel steamed to reach the yacht and the master used a liferaft to transfer them from the yacht to the tanker. Matthias Imrecke, managing director of Hamburg-based Hellespont Hammonia, which operates the Hellespont Trooper, says, “Given the heavy seas and swell it was a difficult manoeuvre but the master and crew did a great job and we are very proud of them.”

The Hellespont Trooper is en route from New Zealand to Rivadavia, Argentina in ballast, but will divert to a Chilean port to land the yachtsmen.