Significant Maritime Incidents

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Date: 25/06/2024

Tuesday 25th June 2:00 am – The Newport to Bermuda Race control call advising that the race competitor LAPIN has grounded off of St David's Head west of the race finish line. RCC Bermuda was able to establish VHF radio communication with the yacht which reports being hard aground and that her rudder has sheared off resulting in the yacht taking on water. A tow was urgently required before the yacht's hull was also holed on the reef and her crew and the entire vessel further endangered. Despite attempts by RCC Bermuda to secure a local marine contractor for a tow, no assistance was readily available such that a Royal Bermuda Regiment Coast Guard vessel was tasked from Boaz Island to assist the 46 foot sloop and her 10 person crew. Once on scene 30 minutes later, RESCUE-1 is able to take LAPIN in tow for St George's Harbour where she is put alongside Pennos Wharf with de-watering pumps running and her crew are able to stabilise the water ingress using a sail stuffed through the rudder shaft. Water ingress was monitored overnight and through the next day whereupon the yacht was towed to Spar Yard at Dockyard where she was lifted out of the water for repairs. Further investigation by BMOC revealed that the yacht suffered a failure of all electronics and was attempting to finish the race without good position or chart information - plus the finish line buoy lights were extinguished - so they lost situational awareness leading to their grounding in the dark.


Date: 25/06/2024

Tuesday 25th June, 9:45 am – Newport to Bermuda Race Control contacts RCC Bermuda following a report that the race competitor GUNGA DIN, a 40 foot sloop with 7 POB, is taking on water in a position around 90 miles to the Northeast of Bermuda. RCC Bermuda was able to contact the GUNGA DIN by satellite phone. The rate of water ingress was causing concern and may result in them abandoning the vessel. The cause of water ingress was initially unknown, but is later thought to be from structural damage to the vessel's hull midships around the mast base. The closest race competitor to GUNGA DIN was the sailing yacht DESNA which arranged to rendezvous with GUNGA DIN in case abandoning became necessary. At around noon the 7 crew abandoned to the 37 foot sloop DESNA via a life raft and GUNGA DIN was left adrift. The DESNA with a total of 14 POB arrived in Bermuda without further incident around Wednesday lunchtime.


Date: 24/06/2024

Monday 24th June, 6:00 am – The U.S.A registered 70 ft Sloop PYEWACKET was the first of the Newport Bermuda race yachts to cross the finish line. After the race was complete the yacht entered St Georges Harbour in order to disembark a sick crew member to an ambulance waiting at Hunters Wharf, the winning yacht continued on to Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton Harbour.


Date: 24/06/2024

Monday 24th June, 8 pm – Many complaints were received during the day regarding Sportfishing vessels operating too fast in the vicinity of Dockyard. Many tour / charter boat operators were concerned injuries could be caused by the dangerous wake. This is a perennial problem early in the Sportfishing season and Bermuda Coast Guard intend to make regular patrols to enforce the no wake zones, Bermuda Radio issued a Local Navigational warning to highlight the issue of dangerous wake.


Date: 23/06/2024

Sunday 23rd June, 7:00 am – RCC Bermuda was made aware of the Newport to Bermuda race boat ALLIANCE, the 40 ft sloop, racing with 7 people onboard, had suffered catastrophic damage to the rudder leading to flooding. The ALLIANCE was pumping out water but the situation could not be brought under control, a MAYDAY was issued and all 9 crew transferred to the Newport to Bermuda race boat CEILIDH via liferaft. The CEILIDH also a 40ft sloop now had 16 people onboard with approximately 2 more days racing to Bermuda. There was concern for the safety onboard CEILIDA as the number of people onboard was greater than the provision of safety equipment, fortunately CEILIDH completed the race without further incident during the early hours of Tuesday morning.