A yacht abandoned mid-Atlantic in December due to risk of dismasting is salvaged in the Caribbean with her rig still standing


You may remember the story of Barbary Duck, the Westerly Corsair abandoned mid-Atlantic in December because her crew judged her in danger of dismasting. As many of us suspected at the time, the boat continued to drift until it reached the other side of the Caribbean. She was salvaged and taken ashore in Antigua on 28 February.

Barbary Duck was abandoned by owners John and Frances Weller from Northern Ireland when they discovered cracking of the chainplates. They abandoned to a liferaft and were picked up by a Swan taking part in the racing division of the ARC rally, which was catching up from astern.

The yacht continued to float and several other ARC crews came across it, one at close quarters at night, when Barbary Duck was unlit. The photo above was taken several days after she was abandoned and shows her still sailing west.

When Barbary Duck was found off Antigua she had not dismasted from the chainplates, as was previously thought, though by then the top section of the mast had broken. She had obviously been found and boarded previously, as a a lot of equipment had been looted. She also sustained topsides damage in the process of being salvaged.

This case follows two other yachts abandoned but not scuttled during the 2006 ARC which later washed up, one in the Caribbean and the other in the Azores.