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TJV: The Multi50 Drekan Group has capsized in 25 knots with 4m seas; both sailors have been rescued


WEST OF THE AZORES – According to the Transat Jacques Vabre media, at approximately 21:00 UTC Wednesday evening, the TJV race office received a call via Iridium emergency phone from Christopher Pratt (FRA), co-skipper of the Multi50, Drekan Group, to inform them that they had just capsized. The boat was sailing downwind in 25 knots with "violent squalls" of 35 knots, 300 miles west of San Miguel in the Azores archipelago. The race director contacted rescue authorities in France and the Azores to coordinate the rescue.

According to the dramatic report in an article just out (Thursday afternoon CET) in France's Le Télégramme, Pratt, who was "dazed" from the capsize and holding onto one of the hulls, was rescued from the water by fellow crew Eric Defert (FRA). Pratt was pulled by Defert out of the water and into relative safety inside the main hull. They triggered the distress beacon and donned their survival suits.

Le Télégramme goes on to say that in the middle of the night a Dutch freighter, now identified by TJV media as the BEAUTRITON, about 30nm away, was diverted by rescue authorities to the scene. The freighter was able to contact the sailors via VHF, and agreed to wait until daybreak to attempt a rescue. At 0930 UTC this morning, BEAUTRITON launched a lifeboat and recovered the stricken sailors. Twelve hours after the capsize, they are said to be safe and sound and being comforted by the sailors of this freighter, which has resumed its passage to the United States. The overturned trimaran drifts 280 miles north-east of San Miguel.

Photo above, dated today (9 Nov 17) appears, with a few others, in the Le Télégramme article without attribution, presumably taken from the Dutch freighter. Read more on the TJV website here.

The Multi50 Drekan Group in happier times. Photo courtesy of TJV media.