ARC January Yacht BRAINSTORM Abandoned following rudder damage and water ingress

20 January 2022

At approximately 2100 UTC on Tuesday 18 January ARC Rally Control was informed by MRCC Ponta Delgada of an alert from ARC January yacht Brainstorm (NED), reporting the yacht’s rudder had been damaged and the boat was taking on water. The Dutch four-man crew reported no injuries and made attempts to mitigate the water influx from the damaged hull of the X-Yachts X4.9.

Fellow ARC January yachts in the vicinity were alerted, the closest being What’s Next (GBR) 25nm ahead and Rhapsodie VI (FRA) 65nm astern of Brainstorm’s position. Both diverted course to assist. Overnight What’s Next was able to establish communications with the crew of Brainstorm, who confirmed their intention to abandon ship as the structural damage sustained had the potential to worsen. It was decided to wait to evacuate the crew in daylight and, with the situation holding stable, await the arrival of Rhapsodie VI to assist.

Brainstorm was readied for abandonment and the crew’s next of kin and insurers were informed. Between 1400 and 1530 UTC on Wednesday 19 January, the crew of Brainstorm were evacuated; two were taken on board What’s Next and two joined Rhapsodie VI, transferred using Brainstorm’s dinghy. Additional water, provisions, and fuel were also transferred.

Brainstorm’s position at 15:00hrs UTC 19 January was 18°54.38N, 034°41.11W, moving in a south westerly direction at 0.9kn

Brainstorm continues to be tracked via the on-board YB tracker with positions relayed to other rally yachts in the area and to MRCC Ponta Delgada, the controlling SAR station.

World Cruising Club would like to thank the crews of all the yachts involved in the safe evacuation of the crew of Brainstorm and the services of the SAR stations involved.

What’s Next and Rhapsodie IV will now continue their passage to Saint Lucia.

What’s Next: blog with their account