Casualty evacuation from Avocet; Crew rescue by Navillus

Once again the ARC Net was called into action to help sailors crossing the Atlantic – twice in the last 24 hours with a casualty evacuation from yacht Avocet and a dramatic MAYDAY alert and rescue involving five ARC yachts. Late Friday evening (07/12/07) a crew member onboard the GBR-registered yacht Avocet received a serious head injury caused by the boom during a broach. With the casualty unconscious, urgent medical support was sought. A call was made via the ARC Net for medical assistance whilst MRCC in Martinique tried to locate a ship that could evacuate the casualty. After a difficult and stressful night for all concerned, a successful evacuation took place at first light on Saturday 08 December and the casualty is now thankfully onboard the cruise ship Costa Mediterranea, under the care of the two ship’s doctors. The ship is now en route for Barbados where the casualty will be transferred to hospital. A call from MRCC Falmouth initiated the ARC Net again late on Saturday morning (08/12/07) in order to help rescue the crew of a non-ARC yacht that had called a MAYDAY. A message was sent to the ARC fleet with an update on the position and situation of the yacht in trouble. Individual calls were also made to ARC yachts likely to be in the vicinity and able to relay the distress call via VHF radio. ARC yachts Blue Spirit, Worldwide Traveller, Cat-man-do and Regina all responded, but it was ARC yacht Navillus (Brian O’Sullivan IRL) that was first on station. A 31ft catamaran called Spam – not participating in the ARC – had been dismasted and subsequently holed earlier in the morning. Luckily for the three crew, Navillus, a Bavaria 50, picked up the MAYDAY and was able to assist. The crew was transferred using a liferaft, which was then slashed to sink it. The dismasted catamaran was then abandoned, sinking but still afloat, and an advisory message sent to all ARC yachts to keep clear of it. Navillus has now resumed course for St.Lucia with her unexpected guests safely aboard.