Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Tough

Sailor and his rescuer dead in breaking river bar tragedy

by Des Ryan on 12 Apr 2013
Portugal sailing tragedy - Meri Tuuli, which approached the river bar late afternoon through breaking water .. .
A rescuer and a sailing crew member have lost their lives when the 10m German yacht Meri Tuuli tried unsuccessfully to enter Portugal's Figueira da Foz river bar late afternoon, and broached in 5m breaking waves. The boat was dismasted and both the yacht and the rescue RIB ended up on the nearby Cabedelo Beach. The rescuer who died was a member of Policia Maritima - Portugal's Maritime Police. Four crew were rescued, while six, including two rescuers, were hospitalised.

The accident occurred about 200 kilometers north of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, Wednesday night. The two confirmed deaths are a 47-year-old crew member of the sailboat which was flying a German flag and a member of the Maritime Police who was 41, according to a Maritime Police statement.

'The distress signal was given at around 6 p.m. (0500 GMT) Wednesday via another sailing boat that was in the vicinity, and the maritime agency of the Port of Figueira da Foz launched a rescue mission shortly afterwards, using a speedboat and a jet ski from the lifeguard station at Figueira da Foz with the support of a Maritime Police speed boat,' according to the Maritime Police.


When the rescuers arrived the boat was already dismasted and in the breaking water zone.

The Maritime Police agency said that, 'During the rescue operation we experienced very rough conditions at the site and the Maritime Police vessel eventually capsized and three officers fell into the water.'

'Five crew members of the sailboat and the three Maritime Police officers were rescued from the water, however a crew member and a member of the Maritime Police were pronounced dead on the beach,' said a Maritime Police spokesperson.


'It is understood that of the remaining crew of the sailboat, two sustained traumatic injuries, and the other two survivors and two Marine Police officers have symptoms of hypothermia,' the spokesperson said.

The rescue operation, which completed almost at midnight Wednesday, involved elements of the Maritime Police, volunteer firefighters from the town of Figueira da Foz, National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM), the Red Cross, local police and a Civil Protection helicopter.

The ramifications of the news for the cruising sailor is an age-old lesson. No matter how badly you'd like to get into port, when the weather turns foul, head to sea, not to port, and especially when night is approaching. A nearby safe port (for entering at night) was Peniche, eight or nine hours away and even closer was Nazare, a mere four hours away. The crew simply made a bad - tragic - call.

Thank you to Luis Salvador for his contribution to this article.

North Technology - Southern SparsSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
D-Marin Farr 40 Zadar Regatta – Overall report
Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Those two top-notch programs have resumed their rivalry this week in the waters off this historic city along the Dalmatian coast.
Posted on 23 Sep
Impressive tow-in freestyle show on the water in Cold Hawaii
The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competitio The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competition as expected with light winds and small waves.
Posted on 21 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The hurricanes headed for Hawaii and Florida
The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The first of two hurricanes headed toward Hawaii lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Meanwhile, in Florida, a tropical storm gained in strength and is now designated as a hurricane.
Posted on 4 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun