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Dinah to the rescue!

7th July 2009

Ostar winner Barry Hurley is sailing Dinah home to Cobh from New York, with his sister Aileen Smith and Dublin sailor Andy Boyle aboard to share the watch. They departed sunny New York City on Sunday at 1810 UTC and a few hours later found themselves in a small bit of drama...

"Yesterday evening we had perfect breeze to get towards the nearest part of the Gulf Stream. About an hour before sunset we were barrelling along nicely with 20knts of breeze on the beam. I was down below packing my gear into ziplock bags when Aileen shouted down that there was a boat waving at us. That's very nice of them I thought. "Wave back!"

As we came closer it became apparent that they were in fact in distress... a small 23ft motorboat with no fuel left, no radio, five persons on board, all in just t-shirts with no extra clothing, and 35nm offshore! What on earth were they doing out here? Dinah to the rescue... We raised the Coastguard and gave them the precise position of the stricken vessel, at which point Dinah was comandeered by the US Coastguard to stand by and keep watch. (It took them a while to agree that we would not be able to tow the vessel back to shore!) An hour later a Coastguard boat came along, took the poor guys on board and took the vessel in tow.

All were very appreciative, and to be honest it was quite pleasant having dinner hove to watching the drama unfold before we were released.... As the evening went on and we considered the events, we realised that it could in fact have been very serious if we had not happened to pass by them by chance. The event cost us a few hours progress, but we're pretty confident the gain in terms of karma will reward doubly!

The breeze died off through a really bright moonlit night. By lunchtime today we had to switch the engine on again as we were making no real progress. Hopefully this won't last too long, we only have a certain amount of diesel available, and we can't afford too many days with no breeze."

Afloat.ie Team

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