The catamaran crew who were holed and rescued in the Atlantic


They had to abandon their sinking catamaran, and they were safely rescued. In the front row of this pic is the crew of Spam, the Prout Quest 31 that was dismasted and holed 800 miles west of Barbados two weeks ago (l to r: Agustin Ekdal, Adam Kyne and skipper Pete Kyne from St Mary’s, Scilly).

In the back row are their rescuers, skipper Brian O’Sullivan, Peadar O’Loughlin and Michael O’Sullivan from Tralee, doing the ARC on Brian’s Beneteau 50 Navillus (no, not Latin – it’s Sullivan backwards, geddit?).

Pete Kyne’s account of trying to cut the broken mast away in a 3m swell and 35 knots of wind was scary. “The aluminium tubing was all bent and splayed out and it was coming up and down out of the water. It was very dangerous. We were across the sea. It could have taken our heads off.”

The crew got the rig away in the end by hammering out the pins – no easy matter with the pressure coming on and off the rig. “By the time I was finishing it was pulling out the chainplates. The half-inch stainless bar was bent over at right angles and was starting to pull out of the hull,” Pete told me.

Quite understandably, Pete Kyne was very upset and emotional about losing his boat. He had been working on his boat and improving her for this voyage for three years.