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Yacht Sinks After Collision With Tug at Italian Offshore Regatta

16th May 2021
ITA-16373 Le Pelican sank near Ventotene after colliding with a tug boat.
ITA-16373 Le Pelican sank near Ventotene after colliding with a tug boat

There was high drama at the Regata dei Tre Golfi, part of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week in Italy when one of the competitors collided with a tug boat and sank during an overnight passage race.

A record fleet of over 110 boats was competing off Borgo Santa Lucia in Naples for the first race of the ORC European Championship.

At approximately 02.50 this morning, it was reported to the Italian Navy that ITA-16373 Le Pelican sunk near Ventotene after colliding with a tug boat.

The crew of Le Pelican deployed the life raft and all seven crew boarded safely.

The Italian Navy assisted and pulled the entire crew out of the raft and onto their rescue vessel. All crew have been transferred to Naples. No medical attention was requested by the crew of Le Pelican and all crew were reported in good condition.

Update from organisers at 1800hrs: 

The Salona 37 Le Pelican, enrolled in the Tre Golfi in Class C as a participant in the ORC European Championship, disappeared from tracking screens. “The conditions were particularly challenging, with two-metre waves, and we were sailing upwind on a port tack - commented a crew member who was on deck at the time of the accident - a result of a bad manoeuvre, in minutes we found ourselves in a critical situation with a cargo barge navigating between Naples and Ventotene just a few metres from us, and at that point a collision was inevitable. We managed to get the life raft into the sea and in just under 3 minutes our boat went under.”
All seven crew members were rescued by the cargo ship and taken to port in Naples, all under the management of the Harbour Master - Coast Guard. Fortunately, no one was injured and the entire crew of Le Pelican crew was able to breathe a sigh of relief at having avoided a much more serious outcome. In all this, it is worth emphasising the decision of the Organising Committee to make carrying a life raft on board mandatory, even though this is not a requirement for Category 3 under the World Sailing regulations for safety equipment.

Published in Offshore
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