The rescue of a fisherman adrift for 20 days illustrates the careful watch that only yachtsmen keep


It has been a terrible, and at the same time incredibly fortunate, start for the crew of TillyMint, an Oyster 82 that set off last week on their circumnavigation with the World ARC.

As this World Cruising Club report explains, they were incredibly luck to hear cries in the dark in the early hours of Saturday while on passage to Panama. These were from a tiny open fishing vessel that had been adrift for 20 days. During that time the fishermen had reportedly seen several other vessels but had never been spotted themselves.

By the most tragic ill luck, at the very moment they’d at last been sighted a signal fire they lit to help identify them got out of hand and the four crew had to ump overboard. After a long search by TillyMint and several other World ARC yachts, one of the fishermen was recovered.

Unfortunately only a sailing yacht is likely to hear cries for help at sea and very often we are the only ones keeping a close visual lookout, as opposed to relying on radar. Good work by the crew of TillyMint.