A phone call from mid-ocean


Hearing that an ocean racer needed rescue in mid-ocean is always bad news. But if there is a bright side to rescue stories, it’s that the safety communications gear works the way it is supposed to work and the racer is plucked from danger. Sidney Gavignet, a racer in the recent Route de Rhum yacht race, was forced to call for help during the race when his the forward cross beam of his multihull was damaged. Gavignet was roughly 300 nm north of the Azores. Gavignet Sidney used his onboard Iridium satellite phone to notify the race director and his team of what happened and to call his wife to assure her he was unharmed. Even better, French and Portuguese maritime authorities were able to call Gavignet back on his Iridium phone to confirm his position. Gavignet also had two other portable Iridium phones on hand in the event he had to leave in the survival raft. A Greek cargo ship, the Cavo Alexandro, was only 12 miles away from Gavignet’s yacht and was able to safely rescue him from his damaged vessel.

By Ocean Navigator