At 16.30 UTC today, a large tug with 4,000 horsepower, from La Coruna in Northern Spain attached a towline to the dismasted Open 60 Aviva. The crew of HMS Northumberland assisted the Spanish boat in the operation and Caffari is now heading safely under-tow back to port.
The manoeuvre lasted just under an hour, after which Caffari waved goodbye to her ‘guardian angel’ HMS Northumberland. She now starts the 20-24 hour tow back to La Coruna, during which she will probably have to remain on deck at all times to ensure there are no problems with the tow.
Fortunately, despite the damage to one of the rudders caused by the broken mast, Caffari has successfully engineered the autopilot to operate the functioning rudder so she will not have to hand-steer for the entire duration of the tow.
Andrew Roberts, Campaign Director said,
'We are relieved that the tow has been successfully attached. Dee will now have to remain vigilant throughout the passage back to Spain and in the event of any problems arising she will have to cut the towline. At our current estimates it is likely that Dee will arrive in La Coruna tomorrow afternoon, where she will be met by campaign manager Harry Spedding and her shore team.'