Falklands : HMS Clyde Rescues Lomas Family Near South Georgia
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 10.05.2010 (Article Archived on 24.05.2010)
A Derbyshire family whose yacht hit an iceberg in the South Atlantic, has been rescued by the HMS Clyde, the Falklands protection warship, after their distress call was picked up 8,000 miles away by the Falmouth coastguard
HMS CLYDE RESCUES LOMAS FAMILY NEAR SOUTH GEORGIA
By J. Brock (FINN)
A Derbyshire family whose yacht hit an iceberg in the South Atlantic, has been rescued by the HMS Clyde, the Falklands protection warship, after their distress call was picked up 8,000 miles away by the Falmouth coastguard and , relayed to the Falklands, and then on to HMS Clyde, which sailed 200 miles north to rescue them.
A Falmouth coastguard spokesman said the iceberg they hit would have been almost impossible to spot: "What they've hit is a 'growler', where hardly anything is out of the water and the majority is submerged. It is very similar to what the Titanic hit. You can track them by radar or visual lookout, but you can't see them all."
The Lomas family is now en route to the Falklands aboard HMS Clyde and expected to complete the 1,000-mile journey by mid-week. But their round-the-world dream voyage is over, with their 60ft yacht left to sink in the icy seas off South Georgia.
Also known as Lord and Lady Hollinsclough, Carl Lomas and Tracey Worth, with their teenage daughters Caitland and Margause, from Chelmerton in Derbyshire, who all escaped without injury, had been sailing since they left Ipswich on the Hollinsclough in March 2007.
Having visited Stanley in Februaryand March, the family had also spent time on South Georgia before setting off on their ill-fated voyage to Cape Town.
According to a MOD press release, Marine Engineer Officer Lieutenant Robert Satterley said they were relieved to see four people alive and well as they approached the sinking yacht.
"The yacht had sustained severe damage and lay low in the water, and it was clear the family had been through quite an ordeal. Unfortunately, nothing could be done to save the yacht, and we were just glad to get them back to the ship safely,” he said.
The family was posting regular euphoric updates on their adventures in an online log, clocking up 15,000 miles by Friday 20 March, recording chatting with passing passenger liners, and reporting spectacular sightings when they tied up at King Edward Point on South Georgia of king penguins and fur seals, "albatross the size of jumbo jets ... a wild wonderful panorama of nature at its finest." There were no further postings until the first indication that they were in trouble, on Saturday. Their online diary was updated: "300 miles NE South Georgia, Ice convergence zone. 51.27.19 S 29.10.92W EPIRB alerted. Falmouth control aware, Royal Navy in support."
While in the Falklands the family helped to pull the clock face down from the Cathedral Tower and were active in guiding as well as Sea Cadets. The girls also went to school at 8.30am sharp, for a few weeks of proper lessons.
The press release went on to say that the family then sailed on to South Georgia, where they stayed for most of another month, stocked up, and continued their voyage, keeping an anxious iceberg watch, until 175 miles north when their autopilot failed and they were forced to turn back. After repairs they sailed again from South Georgia on 29 April, heading for anchorage at the remote island of Tristan de Cunha, then Cape Town. "Fingers crossed for good winds and few icebergs," they reported.