The North American Rally To The Caribbean’s [NARC] Newport-Bermuda race has been disrupted by the weekend’s savage storms, with the cargo ship “Oleander” [pictured] picking up four survivors from one abandoned yacht yesterday [Nov.6].
And another participating vessel was helped into the island by the pilot boat “St. George” and the tug “Powerful” this morning [Nov. 7]
Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre reported this morning that continuing high winds and occasional gale-force conditions at sea had played havoc with the cruising rally participants who set out from Rhode Island for Bermuda on October 30.
“At approximately 3:30 pm yesterday, the crew of M/v ‘Oleander’ was involved in the successful recovery of four survivors from the 46 foot sailing vessel “Elle” a NARC rally participant, located approximately 200 miles northwest of Bermuda,” said a Maritime Operations spokesman.
The captain of “Elle” decided to abandon their vessel having encountered steering failure & subsequent injury to a crew member — bruised ribs — in 30-35 knot winds with seas ranging from 20 – 30 feet.
US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellite Image Of The Low Pressure Front Off Bermuda Which Is Causing Gale-Force Conditions In The Area. Released Today [Nov.7]
“The ”Oleander’, en route, from New Jersey to Bermuda was diverted to the distress position and has since arrived in Hamilton Harbour this morning where the crew members were landed ashore. One of the survivors wished to express his gratitude for the professionalism shown by the captain and crew of the Oleander during the rescue operation.”
The “Oleander” is operated by Bermuda Container Lines.
Early this morning another NARC rally participant, the 49-foot “Riot” suffered steering failure on final approach to St. George’s Harbour and issued a distress call.
“Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre tasked the Pilot boat ‘St. George’ and tug ‘Powerful’ to assist the vessel with winds averaging 30-35 knots during the rescue operation and attempts being made to keep the sailing vessel clear of the reef structure.” said the Marine Operations spokesman. “The yacht ‘Riot’, with six persons onboard, was safely guided into St. George’s Harbour a short while later.
The Yacht “Riot” In St. George’s Harbour This Afternoon
The annual NARC rally attracts veteran offshore sailors and professionally crewed boats and is described as “a grass-roots” affair for seasoned mariners.
In Bermuda the St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club is hosting NARC participants who, after filling up on fuel, were then scheduled to head to the final rally destination, St. Maarten in the Caribbean.
The crew of another sailing vessel not entered in the rally, “Spring Moon”, were also rescued 550 miles southwest Bermuda yesterday.
“At 12.20 local time on Sunday [Nov 6.], Cable ship ‘Ocean’ was diverted to a position 550 miles southwest of Bermuda to recover three crew members from sailing vessel ‘Spring Moon’,” said Marine Operations. “Cable ship ‘Ocean’ is due to disembark the three survivors at the east end of Bermuda tomorrow afternoon.
Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre said it is also in contact with a number of other sailing vessels presently offshore which have suffered rigging failure or are hove to due to present weather conditions.
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