Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Dismasted Russian solo sailor rescued in Bass Strait

by Des Ryan on 23 Apr 2013
Location of rescue .. .
It was a quest that many dream of, but few see to fruition. 47-year-old Sergey Zjukov built his own 24ft boat and sailed it across the Atlantic twice before setting off from Portugal on a solo round-world journey. He had successfully sailed past two of the Great Capes - Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin, but made one big mistake.

While 70-year-old Jeanne Socrates, who passed Australia recently, and most other solo sailors go south of the South East Cape in Tasmania, Sergey Zjukov chose to visit the coastal town of Portland and then go through Bass Strait, between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia - shorter and not as far south as the Southern Ocean route.

But Bass Strait is dreaded by Australian sailors in stormy conditions, because of its shallow water which whips into short high seas. Hit with a storm during his passage, he fought the storm for two nights without sleep, carefully guiding his tiny sailing boat.

Finally he had taken a nap but without his help the boat had broached, the mast snapped, and the hull began to take on water. He realised that it was time to call for help and let off his EPIRB.

However, the rough - nine metre - seas prevented any vessels and most aircraft from getting to the solo yachtsman on Friday with his rescuers on board a Victoria Police helicopter battling the high breaking waves and low fuel to save him.

They were running out of fuel when the police rescue helicopter located Mr Zhukov, father of three, in his holed yacht 110nm south of Mallacoota on the south east coast of Victoria

When he was lowered down to sea level, Leading Senior Constable Brad Pascoe had to compete with the undulating nine-metre waves as he hoisted the stranded yachtsman to safety.

'We were literally a minute or so from having to abort the rescue and head back inland to refuel,' he said after the rescue. 'We were pushed to the top end of limits of what we are capable of.'

The team touched back down on dry land with only five minutes of fuel left in the tank.


Mr Zhukov said he understood the operation was dangerous for all involved and called Senior Constable Pascoe 'a real hero'.

The search and rescue mission was co-ordinated by Australian Search and Rescue with the assistance of Victoria Police's Airwing and Water Police members from the Rescue Coordination Centre. The Royal Australian Navy also assisted in the rescue.

The yacht was abandoned, but was holed and expected to sink quickly.

Protector - 660 x 82Mackay BoatsAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan
Potential instability in Atlantic Ocean water circulation system
One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict, according to a new study. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” — could occur quite abruptly, in geologic terms, the study says.
Posted on 6 Jan