Sailor saved by rescueMe EPIRB1 during the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

wave decor
4 lives saved
Boat sinking
Normal conditions
Rescue location
Atlantic Ocean °S, °W
Rescue team
Coast guard
Rescue duration

What happened?

Despite the frustrating start to the race, It was a perfect day for sailing. We had light winds measuring around 15kt and a 2.5m swell. These were the conditions we were in when we lost control of our steering, which is why I always urge all sailors to carry an EPIRB on board.

I was one of four crew members aboard the Brainstorm during last years’ ARC race (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers). These rally races consist of crossing oceans with friends, feeling confident, and having an overall good time. But things quickly took a turn for the Brainstorm.

We were nine days into the rally, going from Gran Canaria to St Lucia when we realized something was wrong.

As we took down the sails to investigate, we soon discovered that the rudder was no longer in the top bearing and our yacht had suffered some structural damage with water rapidly coming in. It was dark and we were taking on more water than we could pump back out.

With the nearest land mass being 1000km away, the decision to activate the EPIRB was indisputable.

They responded within minutes! I received a call from the MRCC Delgada Portugal and they alerted the ARC Rally Control of our incident. They then proceeded to contact other ARC yacht participants. They reached out to What’s Next, which were seven hours away, and Rhapsodie VI, who were 15 hours away. They informed them of the situation and directed them to our location – approximately 1,200 nautical miles from the Canary Islands.

Though the wait for rescue was long, thankfully we were able to control the situation by successfully stabilizing the rudder and attaching a hose to create extra bilge pump capacity. This allowed us to wait out through the night.

The next morning on January 19th, the transfer of the crew to Rhapsodie VI and What’s Next was safely carried out just in time – with the situation likely to worsen due to structural damage and no steering.

Brainstorm was salvaged almost one week later.

Whether you’re offshore sailing or sailing closer to shore, I would definitely recommend having a rescueMe EPIRB 1. It’s extremely easy to activate during your time of need and has provided us with a lifesaving connection to rescue authorities when we needed it the most.

Words of wisdom

Thank you note to the Ocean Signal team