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, 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: 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: 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.


Date: 20/06/2024

Thursday 20th June, 12 Noon – RCC Bermuda observed a RADAR target making a dangerous approach to Bermuda from the north, many calls were made to the vessel on VHF Radio advising that the yacht was in danger of running aground. No response was received, when it became obvious the vessel intended to pass over the reef line to the west of North Rock RCC Bermuda requested the Coast Guard dispatch a vessel and rendezvous with the inbound yacht. As the Coast Guard approached the inbound yacht “LUNA BAY” called Bermuda Radio on VHF and advised they were a 47ft French Registered sloop with 4 people onboard, the crew were unaware of how to make a safe approach into Bermuda and were escorted to the customs dock in St Georges Harbour by Coast Guard vessel Rescue 1.


Date: 17/06/2024

Monday 17th June, 1:00 pm – RCC Bermuda received a number of calls from concerned parties ashore regarding two separate COMET race boats which appear to be in difficulty. The Bermuda Coast Guard assisted one racer off Cobblers Cut who was having difficulty righting the boat and took the boat in tow. Race support boats assisted a number of other boats by taking them in tow. Shortley before 2:00 pm race officials were able to confirm that all boats had been accounted for.


Date: 17/06/2024

Monday 17th June, 3:30 pm – The local 24ft Pleasure craft MAIN EVENT with two people onboard reported that they were disabled around 50ft from Hogfish beacon, Bermuda Radio made calls for assistance on VHF Radio which went unanswered. Later in the afternoon a passing vessel assisted by taking the boat in tow along North Shore back to their mooring in St Davids.


Date: 15/06/2024

Saturday 15th June, 7:00 pm – The Container Ship CHIQUITA CENTURY contacted RCC Bermuda from a position 500 miles East North East of Bermuda while on passage to Europe. The ship had sighted an upturned power boat, the boat was only around 6 meters in length but looked in very good condition with little marine growth. The United States Coast Guard were unaware of the boats origins and added it to their flotsam / derelict vessel records.


Date: 15/06/2024

Saturday 15th June, 11:10 am – The inbound cruise ship VISION OF THE SEAS contacted RCC Bermuda as they had a passenger in need of medical attention ashore. In order to land the patient as soon as possible the pilot boarding time was brought ahead, all associated services were accommodating in bringing the ships arrival time into Dockyard forward. The patient was disembarked into a waiting ambulance at 2:15 pm after arriving alongside Heritage Wharf, Dockyard.


Date: 13/06/2024

Thursday 13th June, 7:30 pm – RCC Bermuda received a telephone call from RCC Bremen regarding a German registered sailing vessel, AVALON, which departed Bermuda on the afternoon of Wednesday 12th June, the yacht now in a position 130 miles to the north east of Bermuda encountered another sailing vessel which appeared to be in difficulty, it was reported to be sailing in circles. The German yacht outbound from Bermuda shouted to the other vessel and found it was registered in Canada and inbound for Bermuda with 1 person onboard, the solo sailor denied having any issues despite being of concern to AVALON. RCC Bermuda contacted AVALON via satellite telephone to try and better understand the situation, a description and position of the vessel was recorded, the yacht had a distinctive green hull, however the name and identifying numbers remained unknown. On Sunday 16th June a vessel fitting this description was still to arrive in Bermuda, RCC NORFOLK and RCC Halifax were advised. No further information was received until a vessel approached the Island from the north early on Wednesday 19th of June, no radio communications were established and the boat ended up anchored off Drew’s Bay, St Georges. The yacht called SOLSTICE IV had departed Montreal on the 22nd May.


Date: 12/06/2024

Wednesday 12th June, 5:00 am – The arriving Annapolis to Bermuda Race boat BAY RETRIEVER contacted Bermuda Radio after crossing the finish line as they were unable to start the engine. The timing of their arrival coincided with the last pilot boarding of the morning and the pilot boat kindly towed the 33 ft sloop which had 6 people onboard to the Customs Dock at Ordnance Island.