British solo sailor Ian Herbert-Jones has been successfully rescued by a Taiwanese fishing vessel after being rolled, dismasted, and injured in a major storm in the South Atlantic, reports the Yachting Monthly.
Herbert-Jones was competing in the single-handed Golden Globe Race, when he was repeatedly rolled the night of April 10th in a storm with winds over 50 knots, gusting 70, and a severe sea state. He was sailing some 900 miles ENE of the Falkland Islands.
At 1845 UTC on the evening of Tuesday April 11, Golden Globe Race organizers posted the following update confirming his safe rescue: “IAN HERBERT JONES !! IS ON THE FISHING VESSEL ZI DA WANG.”
Between 1815 and 1830 UTC the Zi Da Wang arrived at Herbert-Jones’s position, and was positioned to the west of the Tradewind 35 Puffin, sitting to windward of the dismasted yacht in order to provide a lee and flatten the sea for Herbert-Jones. This enabled the solo skipper to manoeuvre at close quarters to the ship, while in contact with the Zi Da Wang bridge by VHF radio to discuss the best way to transfer from Puffin to the 76m ship.
It’s not yet known how the solo skipper, who had reported back and shoulder injuries that were restricting his movement, completed the transfer in 25 knot winds and a 4 meters sea. However, it evidently was achieved swiftly, as he was reported to be on the ship by 1845.
The Taiwan-flagged fishing vessel ZI DA WANG safely rescued British solo sailor Ian Herbert-Jones from his dismasted Tradewinds 35 Puffin in the South Atlantic, 12 April 2023. Photo: MarineTraffic/GGR
The organizers' post continued: “He was recovered at 1845 UTC today. He is battered and bruised with scrapes and scratches, some back pain, but he is very happy to be with the crew. The master of the rescue ship moved straight into a recovery operation in the 25k wind and 4 meters sea as soon as they were on scene.
“Congratulations to all the personnel, ships, government agencies involved over the past 30 hours who have displayed complete professionalism , dedication and passion in continuing one of the strong traditions of the sea.”
The fishing vessel is believed to be headed to Cape Town, South Africa.
Race organizers continued: “The GGR wish to thank the SAR Puerto Belgrano in Argentina and the MRCC Taiwan for an exemplary international coordination of Ian’s rescue, as well as the shipowner, masters and crew of the F/V Zi Da Wang and the F/V Fa Da Cai and Yuh Sheng N°1. and the MV Lilibet, MRCC UK and GRIZ NEZ France were also on standby.”
During the storm Herbert-Jones’s Tradewind 35 Puffin was repeated rolled in a violent sea state, dismasted and took on water, though Herbert-Jones reported that he could control that with the manual bilge pump.
It was also confirmed that the Falkland Islands Fisheries Patrol Vessel Lilibet had been tasked to rescue Herbert-Jones, but was some 300 miles south and 30 hours away. Lilibet began steaming towards Herbert-Jones at 12 knots, and was predicted to arrive at Puffin’s last reported position Wednesday morning.