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Bulkcarrier saved crew of sinking yacht
The British skipper and retired teacher David Bowes, 61, from Pocklington, East Yorkshire, was rescued along with his two crew members, the boatbuilder Jimmy Cliff from Yorkshire and Andy Clarke from London, after they had to abandon the 15-m-s/y "Destiny of Scarborough" more than 300 miles off the Azores. They had been on their way back from the British Virgin Islands to Southampton after the collision with a whale which caused cracks in the hull. The skipper initially decided to continuing heading towards the UK after doing a damage assessment and seeing a little bit of water was coming in but not enough to make them change their plans. But a few hours later he decided to alert the Coastguard in Falmouth after hearing strange creaking noises and in the morning of May 22, 2017, they issued a distress call after more and more water started to come in through new cracks that had gradually opened up after the collision. The Portuguese rescue team mobilised two Air Force jets after being alerted by the Falmouth Coastguard which circled overhead the stricken yacht to reassure them while they waited for a naval vessel heading from the Azores to arrive. The "Justice", enroute from Wilmington to Aviles, was first on scene, and the Ukrainian crew picked up the sailors after manoevering the large ship alongside the sinking yacht. It was very nerve-racking getting on board with two-inch rope lines attached between the two vessels snapping as the yacht moved up and down on the water at different rates.The skipper was left on his boat after the two crew members made it to safety, when the two bow lines snapped, effectively taken by the waves away from the bulkcarrier. The water level was above my yacht’s cabin floorboards when he finally also left and was sinking obviously and we had to cast her adrift. The yacht was abandoned to sink about 350 miles from the Azores and further from the Portuguese mainland. The "Justice" arrived in Aviles on May 25.
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