Three yachts competing in the ARC come to the rescue of a Frenchman whose yacht was sinking

One of the advantages of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is the ARC Communications Net – and once again this proved invaluable when one of the competitors, the British Beneteau 47.7 Jus’Do It, picked up a mayday on 29 November.

The mayday came over the VHF from French yacht Sagitair, which was reporting rudder problems. Jus’Do It contacted ARC control in Cowes and a fleet-wide request for assistance was sent out over the radio net. ARC yachts Candela and Spirit of Clyde were nearest to the stricken French yacht, which was not competing in the ARC, and diverted to assist.

The Moody 38 Spirit of Clyde was the first yacht on the scene, arriving in the nick of time at 1919UTC. The Frenchman was taken off Sagitair onto the Moody, which although the smaller of the two yachts on the scene, had fewer crew and so was better able to accommodate the unexpected guest ,reported Bjorn Stahl, skipper of the Swedish yacht Candela which provided communications assistance throughout the rescue.

It seems that Sagitair had just the one person on board and all involved in the rescue are reported well. The distressed yacht has been abandonned and is expected to sink within the next few hours. Falmouth MRCC have issued a warning to shipping in the area, while both Candela and Spirit of Clyde, complete with new crew member, are continuing towards St Lucia.