Loki, the Australian 60ft Reichel-Pugh, is lost.

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Vega, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 1,606
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    Guys, I have bad news:( . Well they are not really news, but they are to me.
    It happened on the Rolex Middle the Sea Race, in the end of last month: Loki, the beautiful Australian 60ft Reichel-Pugh , winner of many races is lost.

    "For Loki the drama was truly life threatening. Sailing along in 35-knots at 15/16 knots of boatspeed there was a sudden bang and the crew saw the rudder floating away behind the boat. Talking to owner Stephen Ainsworth earlier today he explained how they brought the boat under some semblance of control and made contact with Race Control to report their circumstances at 1730 on Saturday evening. Tomasso Chieffi, a last minute addition to the crew of Atalanta II, the Italian mini-maxi of Carlo Puri Negri, made the seriousness of the situation absolutely vivid. On hearing of Loki's distress, Atalanta diverted back to see what assistance she could offer, as Chieffi explained, "sailing along side with Loki, Lucas Brown finally was able to get in contact with them over the phone. We heard that the rudder blade was broken. The first idea was to tow them but we did not have a rope that was strong enough to do so. Furthermore, the sea was so high that sometimes the waves were breaking over the mast. It was very difficult to go too near to Loki, the rolling motion was so huge that it was absolutely too dangerous."

    The Italian Coastguard scrambled two boats, but even the larger of the two was unable to do more than standby the wounded Loki. With the lee shore of Golfo di Castallammare fast approaching and the weather conditions atrocious the decision was eventually taken to evacuate the crew by helicopter. That everyone was taken off Loki unharmed is testament to the skill of the Italian Airforce Crew who were flying in peak winds of 45-knots and reduced visibility due to the intense rain and thunderstorms. The height and motion of Loki's mast meant a lift straight from the yacht was untenable. A rescue diver, Antonio Di Domenico was dropped into the water to manage the transfer from yacht to liferaft and then to the helicopter.

    Loki's crew is all safe ashore in Palermo …"



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