A family from Newquay, Cornwall are appealing to the boating community for help in finding their yacht after being forced to abandon it during a transatlantic crossing.
James and Fran Coombes, their two children Heath (aged nine) and Isla (aged seven), and crew Tony White, were sailing their 15.8m (52ft) Hanse Sloop from England to the Caribbean, when they lost their rudder approximately 400NM east of Barbados.
The yacht Dove II was equipped with a satellite telephone which they used to contact the UK Coastguard in Falmouth, and the Coastguard in Martinique.
Skipper James battled 18ft seas and gales for three days and nights in an attempt to rig a temporary rudder, setting out drogues and fighting the elements before he made the decision to abandon his vessel and accept rescue from nearby vessels.
Merchant ships Newseas Jade and Asia Pearl attended and attempted rescue, before the Discovery 67 yacht Tilly Mint of Cowes arrived and successfully rescued the stricken family.
Dove II was in position 16° 31.92’N / 052°38.87’W on 21 December 2016 when it was abandoned at 1200 hours UTC.
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