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McIntyre Ocean Globe Yacht rescues drifting mariner 90 miles off Dakar in Pirate waters!

by Ocean Globe Race 26 Sep 2023 11:20 PDT
Drifting mariner coming alongside OGR entrant Outlaw who've suspended racing to divert to Dakar © Matt Sinnett-Jones Outlaw / Spirit of Adelaide / OGR2023

At 12:09 UTC, Outlaw AU (08) / Captain Campbell Mackie, contacted McIntyre Ocean Globe race headquarters stating they'd come in contact with a sole male drifting in a 20ft canoe, 90nm off the coast of Dakar.

The distressed mariner, who doesn't speak English or French, had no water, limited fuel in 2 small cans, no fishing gear and no sign of a radio. Campbell provided food and water and took the sailor under tow, but left him in the canoe making best speed under motor to Dakar at 5knts in light winds.

OGR declared a Code Orange and contacted Senegal/Dakar MRCC, MRCC Dakar, JRCC /Maritime and Senegal Coast Guard asking for assistance in an immediate evacuation.

The Australian yacht, a 55ft Baltic with 11 crew onboard, has an ETA in Dakar of tomorrow morning (Wednesday 27th).

Campbell will bring the individual on board at nightfall if he feels it's appropriate but will not put his crew at risk as there are security concerns. It is unusual that there is NO fishing gear onboard and no reason to be offshore. He suggested he had been adrift for about five days without food or water, but looks healthy.

OGR suggested OUTLAW make Pan Pan calls every hour and as a result at 14:50 UTC a 220mtr oil tanker 'ChemTrans Sea' came alongside Outlaw at a distance of 1.26nm. ChemTrans Sea has since been in contact with Senegal/Dakar MRCC who requested they stand by, but they apparently don't have the ability to take the sailor onboard. They do have two lifeboats and petrol, but at this point are not prepared to hand over the fuel. If the Canoe has fuel, Campbell planned to tow the boat to within a few miles of Dakar and let him motor ashore.

There is a real concern about piracy in the area and the crew of Outlaw have reported Chem Trans Sea 'have their piracy protocols under way and visible.' She is not allowed to approach any closer. They asked Outlaw if any other ships or boats had been spotted. Campbell has expressed his disappointment at the tanker's unwillingness to take the stranded sailor.

The OGR 24hr satellite tracker positions have been hidden for Outlaw for security reasons.

MRCC Dakar are being updated regularly by OGR in this developing situation.

Team STERNA SA (42):

Meanwhile, South African yacht Sterna SA (42) /All Spice Yachting experienced their first major broach under a spinnaker, being pinned down a full seven minutes! First Mate of the Swan 53, Melissa Du Toit, reported in their weekly satellite call they were so eager to get moving after days of no wind that while surfing in North/North East winds gusting 25-30 knots, with 3-4 meters swells, they endured a dramatic broach.

Their spinnaker filled with water, making it difficult to upright themselves - resulting in a spinnaker pole that is now bent in two. Melissa was happy to report everyone onboard survived the experience unscathed. They're now sailing with two reefs in their main, a full Genoa instead of their S4. All else onboard is good! Regarding their sextant skills, Melissa reported:" Well, we know where we're not!"

Listen to the phone call below:


After full consideration, the OGR Race Control have decided that Godspeed USA (01) will not be considered in any official ranking of Leg 1 of the race, but will remain as a full entrant and be considered as an official finisher of Leg 1 when they dock in Cape Town.

The Skeleton crew, sailing on Godspeed, were forced to divert to Cascais in Portugal last week to fix a six-inch crack in their boom. After a three-day stopover they set sail again on Saturday and are now back racing determined to chase down the pack. The Notice of Race forbids any outside assistance.

Team GALIANA WithSecure:

Tapio Lehtinen, skipper on board Galiana WithSecure FI (06) also used his weekly satellite call to inform listeners of the dangers of working with spinnaker lines. One crew member will be taking a couple of days off sailing duty to let their blistered palm heel after a spinnaker halyard slipped from the winch causing a bad rope burn. No lasting damage was done, but it served as a reminder how easily accidents can happen, even in calm seas.

Listen to the phone call here.

Follow the fleet at

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