Mini abandoned

Okoume Les chevaux du Beal collides with UFO, skipper safely rescued

Monday October 24th 2011, Author: Veronique Largeau, Location: none selected

In the Charente Maritime-Bahia Transat 6.50, Mathieu Claveau, skipper of Mini 405 Okoume Les chevaux du Beal is on board the escort boat Edulis, forced to abandon his boat after a collision with an unidentified floating object.

Okoume Les chevaux du Beal last night collided with an unidentified floating object that severely damaged the yacht's hull, causing the hull to leak. The water level rose rapidly and forced Mathieu to start procedures to request external assistance, by pressing the red button on 406MHz EPIRB. He has been evacuated his boat.

A cargo ship was diverted 45 miles toward the area and the escort boat Edulis was diverted by the race committee. In agreement with the MRCC, which oversaw the operation, the cargo ship was asked to stand up upwind of the Mini in order to protect the skipper from the elements as he abandoned ship. Claveau climbed into his liferaft as two of Edulis' crewmembers hauled him and his grab bag on board. He will remain on board Edulis until she reaches Bahia.

By Iridium Claveau commented: "I had 10 knots of wind when it happened. I was asleep and I was awakened by a great impact. I dropped the sails and then, as I looked around inside the boat, I saw the water gushing in beneath under my galley board. I went down and plunged my hand in and found that hull had exploded. I think that I hit a metal object that destroyed my hull. The boat was filled with water in one hour. I tried to bail out, but I quickly realised that this was not possible and was completely useless. I had battery power up until half an hour before the arrival of the cargo ship and Edulis. I was surprised that everyone arrived here so quickly. I had prepared to stay one or two days without help. All is fine... "

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