Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This One Is Not a Novel

A local sailor with whom I have competed on the starting line as well as in table tennis tournaments found himself in this quartet. As reported by FeckTV on 9 February:
Four Irish sailors have had a lucky escape after being rescued from their sinking yacht off the coast of Bermuda. Their trip of a lifetime turned into a nightmare when the yacht lost battery power and suffered a mechanical failure, stranding it 400 miles off the Delaware coast as weather conditions became more dangerous.

The four men were all experience sailors and left the Connecticut two weeks ago aboard ‘Wolfhound’ a 48ft yacht skippered by Alan McGettigan, a member of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Mr McGettigan was joined on the voyage by his friends Morgan Crowe, Tom Mulligan (club protest secretary at Dublin Bay Sailing Club), and Dedan Hayes (a solicitor for law firm Arthur Cox). Mr McGettigan had bought the boat in December and the journey was to take them from the US down to Bermuda and then on to Antigua, however disaster struck.

A spokesman for the Bermuda Coastguard said the yacht suffered two “knock-downs” (where the boat is tipped over before righting itself) as large waves buffeted the crippled vessel. Speaking to the Irish Independent, the spokesman went on to say “With the mechanical failures and damage they sustained, they put out a distress call which we received about 70 miles north of Bermuda”.

Luckily a Greek freighter, the Tetian Trader managed to pick up the distress call, and was close enough to the area to respond. The crew of the freighter managed to rescue the men from the yacht shortly before it slipped beneath the waves. The men are currently being cared for on the Greek freighter which is headed to Turkey. They will be dropped off at Gibraltar early next week, where they can then make their way home.
My friend repaired to his condo in Ireland. Later in the year he will re-cross the pond (in the air) and resume sailing with us in our waters. I look forward to hearing him detailing the lessons learned, etc.


  1. My info is that a first attempt as rescue by a European freighter abandoned due to extreme danger from heaving seas and the high profile of the ship.

    The next attempt was by the grain ship Tetian Trader was successful. It was still harrowing. An initial line from Trader to Lewmar winch on Wolfhound ripped the winch off the deck immediately. After all four were rescued, an attempt was made to keep the Wolfhound afloat. But lines attached to the yacht didn't last long and she immediately sank.

  2. Wolfhound looks to have been a woodie. I say 'good riddance'. But congratulations to the survivors!

  3. That's more adventure than anyone needs. Glad they also had a large dose of luck and will sail again. My brother had an adventure on the Atlantic, though in his case they didn't lose the boat. That pond can be a *itch.