At around 9.30am on Monday 29 September 2014 the St Helena Emergency Services were notified of a yacht, the ‘Benguela’, which was reporting a problem with its rudder and required assistance. At the time of the initial call the yacht was some 80 miles north of St Helena.

Upon being informed of the situation the St Helena Sea Rescue Boat ‘Lima’ was deployed. Given the sea conditions and the likely action required, support was sought from the Skipper of the Extractor who deployed his boat with the Sea Rescue Boat towards the Benguela. The yacht had limited steering but was able to head, at slow speed, towards St Helena. When it was between 25-30 miles from the Island the rudder failed completely. The Sea Rescue Boat had made good progress and arrived on the scene to ensure the safety of the 7 persons onboard.

Working with the Extractor, the yacht was towed back to St Helena where it arrived at around 8pm last evening. All crews of the Lima, Extractor and Benguela were uninjured but tired after a long rescue deployment.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting commented:

This was a challenging rescue in heavy seas but the Sea Rescue team, working with the Skipper and crew of the Extractor did a fantastic job in ensuring the safety of the Benguela and its crew. I am grateful to the Skipper of the Extractor for the support given to the Sea Rescue crew but not surprised at the level of support given when needed. Working together, they provided a professional and timely response to those in need in the waters surrounding St Helena.”

Governor Capes praised the excellent response to the distress call:

I commend all those who took part in the rescue operation. Thanks to their courage, professionalism and well honed seafaring skills, the operation ended happily with the safe return of all concerned.”

SHG

30 September 2014

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