Susie Goodall: Round-the-world sailor rescued after storm destroys mast and leaves 29-year-old unconscious in Southern Ocean

A British woman sailing alone in an around-the-world race has been rescued after a storm in the Southern Ocean spun her boat, destroyed her mast and left her unconscious. 

Susie Goodall tweeted to say she was “on the ship” on Friday afternoon after a merchant vessel from Hong Kong was directed by Chilean authorities to help the sailor. 

The 29-year-old, who was taking part in the solo Golden Globe Yacht Race, was stranded at sea for more than 50 hours following the storm 2,200 nautical miles off the Chile coast.

The rescue mission began at 10.30am on Wednesday when HM Coastguard in Fareham, Hampshire, picked up an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radiobeacon station) distress alert from Ms Goodall’s vessel DHL Starlight.

Ms Goodall, the youngest entrant in the 30,000-nautical-mile race, was able to keep in constant contact via satellite phone communications.

She told the race HQ the vessel had “pitch polled” – meaning it rolled end over end – and dismasted amid 7m seas and high winds.

The search and rescue operation was led by the coastguard’s equivalent in Chile, the MRCC, which immediately asked two nearby vessels to divert their course and help Ms Goodall.

Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre and the National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham also kept vigil and were in regular contact with Chilean authorities and the race operators.

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Tian Fu – a Hong Kong merchant vessel (MV) – reached Ms Goodall at about 1.15pm on Friday. MsGoodall tweeted, via Satphone text, “ON THE SHIP!!!” at about 3.30pm.

The rescue was confirmed by Golden Globe Race HQ and MRCC Chile minutes later, and Ms Goodall was reported to be in good spirits and uninjured.

Tian Fu is continuing its journey to Punta Arenas in southern Chile where Goodall will disembark.

Ian Guy, duty controller for HM Coastguard said: “This was a very demanding long range rescue which was made even more complex because it was taking place 2,000 nautical miles off Cape Horn.

Susie Goodall arrives at Hobart, Australia, in October (AP)

“Susie was at the mercy of 7m seas and severe weather and it’s a credit to her she remained in good spirits during this tense wait.

“Whilst this was happening, HM Coastguard remained in continuous contact with MRCC Chile and Golden Globe Race HQ.

“In this weather and at this range, it was vital we provided as much assistance as possible to the lead agency MRCC Chile, and we maintained a watchful eye over the situation for updates via satellite phone.

“Our priority is to protect life at sea and we will always do everything possible to provide assistance for a mariner in need. In the event we can’t get there ourselves, we do our best to identify someone who can, which is exactly what we did in this case.

“Only two vessels responded to the Mayday Relay broadcast that was issued – largely as a result of the remote area the incident was in – and in the end Susie was rescued by the MV Tian Fu who had diverted its course to provide assistance.

“Although this must have been harrowing for Susie, this is a superb example of international co-operation and we would like to thank Golden Globe Race HQ, MRCC Chile, MV Tian Fu, MV Talimen, and all those who have played their part in bringing this rescue to a textbook and safe conclusion.”

Don McIntyre, race chairman and founder, said: “While that first phone call from HM Coastguard is always a bit of a shock, it is great to now look back at a very professional operation by an international team led by MRCC Chile and the master and crew of the MV Tian Fu ending with a successful outcome, Susie Goodall safely winched aboard ship.

“We will always be grateful for the efforts of all in this challenging situation.”

Additional reporting by PA

The post Susie Goodall: Round-the-world sailor rescued after storm destroys mast and leaves 29-year-old unconscious in Southern Ocean appeared first on Viral Hug.

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