Budleigh sailing couple rescue lone sailor in Atlantic Ocean
- Credit: Picture: Gabrielle Lynne
The voyage of a Budleigh Salterton couple across the Atlantic resulted in them coming to the rescue of a stricken sailor.
Jonathan and Gabrielle Lyne were closing in on Horta in the Caribbean when they came to the rescue of a man whose yacht became damaged by a whale.
They helped ‘Sam’ aboard their own ‘Aqualuna’ yacht and took him with them to Horta, in Faial.
The singlehanded sailor, who had been travelling from Guadeloupe to Cowes, stayed with them during their time in the Caribbean and the Budleigh couple transported him back to the UK with them.
Speaking to the Journal, Gabrielle said: “He was absolutely exhausted and very emotional.
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“We were the nearest yachties to him and the coastguard knew that.
“He is physically very well thankfully.”
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The Budleigh couple, both 69 years old, were looking forward to finishing their passage across the Atlantic Ocean and on their final day towards Horta heard a VHF broadcast from the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre Ponta Delgado in Ilha de Sao Miguel.
The broadcast was requesting immediate assistance for a singlehanded sailor who had been passing through a pod of whales 37 miles off Horta when one hit his yacht causing a severe leak.
It took two hours for the Budleigh couple to reach Sam, by which time he had launched his life raft in preparation for abandoning his yacht.
Jonathan, who has been sailing since the age of four, judged that it would be too dangerous to close with the casualty in the rough seas and asked Sam to gather what he needed and get into his life raft.
With the life raft alongside Aqualuna, it was still too rough to risk him trying to climb aboard so they used a line clipped onto his lifejacket to winch him safely aboard their yacht.
A notice was put out by the Coastguard of a the ‘hazard’ of the sinking yacht.
During the evening the ‘hazard to shipping’ notice was stopped as the stricken yacht had sunk.
With Sam safely aboard they resumed their passage to Horta on the island of Faial.
Sam remained with them for their next passage to Guernsey and then on to Lymington.