On Friday, June 20th at 20:44, organizers of the Great Pacific Race, New Ocean Wave, notified the US Coast Guard that the rowing boat Britannia 4 was experiencing difficulties and the vessel had been taking on water. At the time, the boat was 77 nautical miles due west of Morro Bay.
Chris Martin, Race Director of the Great Pacific Race, said:
“From our conversations with the members of Team Pacific Rowers over the previous 24 hours we understand that Britannia 4 had been gradually taking on more and more water and that despite the crews attempt to stem the ingress, the water level became insurmountable and an evacuation was deemed necessary. Our support yacht was despatched to their location earlier in the day and arrived on scene shortly before dusk. However due to dangerous weather conditions they were unable to attempt rescue themselves without risking the lives of the crew. The US Coast Guard had been informed of the developing situation and despatched a helicopter to evacuate the crew. The support yacht remained with Britannia 4 for the duration ensuring the safety of the crew and relaying messages from the USCG. At 23:30 a USCG helicopter from Sector 11 – San Francisco arrived on the scene and lifted the four crew members to safety.
We are happy to report that Fraser Hart (skipper), Samuel Collins, James Wight and Colin Parker are all safe and well and have no reported medical problems.
The weather conditions on scene were windy with choppy seas: wind at around 23 – 31 knots from the North North West with waves of 15-20 feet. Britannia 4 has a number of 406MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) on board, one of which was been activated to allow an accurate position update.
Our thanks go out to the members of USCG Sector 11 for their actions in ensuring the safety of this crew.”
Any further updates will be posted on the official website at www.greatpacificrace.com/