Cargo ship rescues British sailor in Pacific

December 8, 2018

Photo: AFP

British Golden Globe Race sailor Susie Goodall was plucked from a stormy Southern Ocean by a Chinese ship on Friday, a day after her yacht was dismasted, Chile’s Maritime Rescue Services told AFP.

Goodall “was rescued at 1500 GMT and is already on the ship heading to Punta Arenas,” in southern Chile, a spokesperson for the service said.

A photo tweeted by the Chilean service showed Goodall, her head wrapped in a bandana, being winched above the waves and aboard the Hong Kong-flagged vessel Tian Fu.

“Susie is on the ship!!!! Wowowow! Message just received from Susie Goodall,” the Golden Globe Race organizers announced on their website.

“This is fantastic news indeed…well done Susie too,” they said.

The 40,000 tonne Tian Fu was expected to dock in Punta Arenas on December 12.

The youngest competitor in the race and the only woman, 29-year-old Goodall was briefly knocked unconscious when mountainous seas upended her yacht DHL Starlight early Thursday, tearing off its mast and trashing much of her equipment.

Goodall had managed to get her engine running but it failed after just 20 minutes, complicating rescue efforts as Chilean authorities diverted the Tian Fu to the area.

The race organizers said Goodall had managed to use a sea anchor to slow her yacht down, making a rescue less dangerous.

Goodall was attempting to navigate the southern Pacific’s notorious Roaring Forties as part of the Golden Globe Race.

The young Briton sent a series of frantic text messages to race organizers throughout her ordeal.

“Taking a hammering! Wondering what on Earth I’m doing out here,” she texted as the storm hit.

When concerned organizers finally managed to contact her by satellite phone several hours later, she confirmed her boat had been dismasted but said the hull had not been breached.

“The boat is destroyed. I can’t make up a jury rig,” she said. “The only thing left is the hull and deck which remain intact.

“We were pitchpoled (rolled end over end) and I was thrown across the cabin and knocked out for a while.”

The Golden Globe Race involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe in yachts similar to those used in the first race 50 years ago, with no modern technology allowed except the communications equipment.

Entrants set off from France on July 1 and are expected to finish in April next year.

While “beaten up and badly bruised” she was safe and had managed to bring flooding under control and get her engine going, giving her some maneuverability when the rescue ship arrived, race organizers said.

In text updates, Goodall said she endured “a looong night”.

“In need of a good cuppa tea! But sadly no cooker,” she messaged.

 
 

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