Two crew and their dog abandon their Hunter Legend 450 after the jury rudder fails, and are picked up by another ARC crew

There was another drama in the ARC rally last night when one of the yachts taking part was scuttled some 1,200 miles from St Lucia after her jury rigged rudder failed and she began taking on water. The crew of F2, a Hunter Legend 450 owned and sailed by British couple Peter and Zara Davis was abandoned at at position 17.01N 040.44Wl. They and their German shepherd dog Ellie transferred by liferaft to Lorriegray II, one of three ARC yachts that had been standing by to assist. Crew and pets are safely on board Lorrigray II and are continuing to St Lucia.

Despite attempts to sink the yacht it is still believed to be partially afloat and a securite alert has been issued.

The situation has been monitored throughout by MRCC Falmouth. F2 lost her rudder last week and was helped by the Jubilee Sailing Trust ship Tenacious, which returned to help fabricate a replacement. This arrangement failed again yesterday and her owners decided to abandon ship when they began making water.

The Davises had been talking by satellite phone to a marine surveyor and their insurance company and, according to rally organisers World Cruising Club, have been told by the company that their decision to abandon and scuttle the boat will not prejudice their claim.

Lorriegray II, a Dix 65 sailed by South African Graham Parkinson, has already been involved in the dramas of the past week, when they put one of their four crew on board Toutazimut, the boat whose crew David Hitchcock lost his brother overboard. Toutazimut was also one of the three that diverted to assist and another was Muskrat. This group of boats has been sailing in the same area and keeping close tabs on each other.

Andrew Bishop, general manager of World Cruising Club, comments: “Making the decision to abandon a yacht at sea, especially when it is ones home, is extremely difficult. Our thoughts are with Peter & Zara at this time. We are pleased that fellow ARC participants have been able to provide support and assistance, and that Peter and Zara are safe well. I am sure that they will get a rapturous welcome when they arrive at Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia. “