Inevitably, an ARC yacht nearly ran into the abandoned Westerly Corsair


After commenting on the scuttling argument , reader Stephen Hopking spotted among the ARC logs this worrying one from yacht EH01 (yes, that’s the boat name). Luckily they didn’t run into the derelict Westerly, but I think their actions illustrate another very good reason why the Westerly should have been sunk.

‘For the first time in I don’t know how many days I am just dozing off when it was with great excitement that my mate stumbled into my cabin later in the afternoon to advise me of a yacht on the port bow with main down, flapping headsail and an orange emergency sail hanging over the side.

‘We altered course and headed for the stricken vessel – I tried to raise them on the radio but to no avail and as we approached and circled the yacht we took the name from the stern and tried once more. With no response I blasted the fog horn to attract attention all the while searching the water for a liferaft or bodies.

‘Again, nothing and I began to feel uneasy.

‘She was lilting, drifting on the swell with her swim ladder down. An inspired thought from one of my crew reminded me of a note that had come through from ARC headquarters a couple of days earlier speaking of a yacht, Barbary Duck, that had been abandoned on 1st December. Her crew had been rescued but the yacht would remain drifting.

‘We had stumbled across Barbary Duck. What are the chances of that? The reason for her abandonment was loose chain plates with the potential for the rig to come down.

‘It is all go out here today – there has been another abandoned yacht spotted, north and west of us thankfully, but smelling of fuel. A busy bit of water this North Atlantic!’