Rescue at Sea – Mid-Atlantic Mayday
On December 21st, 2016 the Coombes family were forced to abandon Dove II, their sailboat and home, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We, the crew of Tilly Mint, got the Mayday call roughly 500 miles from Martinique (just 2 days from completing our Atlantic crossing). This video is coming out of sequence from the rest of our story because it is important to share it in as real time as possible.
James, Fran, Tony, Heath, and Isla were at the beginning of their journey around the world when catastrophe struck. After saving money for years, preparing the boat for months, and having made it 3/4 of the way across the Atlantic, their rudder completely disintegrated because of heavy wind and waves. With no way to control the boat, they spent three days being punished by 4 to 6 meter waves while trying to jury rig an emergency rudder. With their repair attempts being repeatedly thwarted by the bad conditions, they were forced to abandon ship into their life raft.
The Coombes family is safe, but they have been left with nothing. They were able to take little more than the clothes on their backs when they abandoned ship. Their worldly possessions and their very home itself were left behind on Dove II. They are currently stuck in St. Martin, trying to figure out how to move forward.
While the family is currently attempting to recover the boat, the outlook is not good. The search costs as well as the future expense of re-establishing their lives are going to be enormous. Let’s rally behind this wonderful young family and help them get back on their feet after this disaster:
Thank you so much.
You can read all about their ordeal in detail on the multiple part series on Fran’s blog: https://westerlyadventures.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/atlantic-crossing-week-3/