British sailor Ross Hobson rescued from his capsized yacht overnight 8/11/06
At 2100 hrs GMT last night (Tuesday 7 November) satellite signals from the twin EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) carried aboard Ross Hobson’s racing yacht Ideal Stelrad were detected by Falmouth Coastguard. An immediate response was initiated, coordinated jointly between HM Coastguard Falmouth and US Coastguard Norfolk, Virginia USA.
Vessels in the vicinity – 1,750 miles off the east coast of the USA – were diverted to the yacht’s last known position in conditions that were described as “horrendous”. 50 knot headwinds from the north east were reported, generating wave heights of between 15 to 20 feet.
At 0215 GMT Adam Kaijser, Master of Spanish freighter “Carmen” was on station and reported seeing a white flashing light and a red distress flare and at 0307 the upturned – but still floating – hull of Ideal Stelrad was identified.
By 0430 GMT the freighter reported that a single crewman, Ross Hobson, was safely aboard.
The hull of the yacht was abandoned and left to the mercy of the sea and the Spanish motor vessel Carmen reset course for Santander, Spain and is expected to arrive on Sunday 12 November.
The organising committee of the Route du Rhum yacht race were kept informed at all times and this incident is the latest in a string of high-profile casualties of the particularly bad north Atlantic weather.
John Colling, Director of Marketing at Ideal Stelrad, sponsors of Ross Hobson during the Route du Rhum gave a message of support to Ross and his family earlier this morning – “After a sleepless night, we are all relieved to know that Ross is alive and well and we look forward to seeing him again when he arrives back in England”.