Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Yacht Sinks after hitting Whale
Srecko and Olga Pust were taking part in the rally and sailing their Sweden Yachts 45 Ciao two-handed and were nearing the end of a long passage from Indonesia to the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The were only 40 miles from landfall. The rudder was all but knocked off in an impact with the submerged object (possibly a whale). The first sign of the problem was that the boat was difficult to steer. When Srecko Pust investigated below he saw that the boat had been holed at the rudder stock. He put out a Mayday on the boat's long range SSB radio and then the two did everything they could to save their yacht, leaving only as the boat sank beneath them. They broadcast a Mayday. The only crew to hear this immediately was another a World ARC yacht nearby, J'Sea, a Jeanneau 52.2 owned by a highly experienced Canadian cruiser, John Cuzner. He alerted others. J'Sea and two other rally yachts, Royal Leopard and Spirit of Alcides, diverted and reached Ciao's position within hours. The video was taken from on board Spirit of Alcides, a Challenger 39 owned by Australians Gus and Linda Pallot. The whale was given some Tylenol and seems fine.