Jedi 1 was sailing about 800 miles off Cape Leeuwin, the southernmost part of Australia, when her crew set off a distress beacon at 16:00 last Thursday afternoon.
For reasons that are still unknown, the sailing boat dismasted in the middle of the Indian Ocean while she was on passage from South Africa to New Zealand.
The three crew members were rescued from their boat in a considerable research and rescue operation coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Hard weather conditions and the great distance between the area of the accident and the coast made the work of rescuers particularly complex.
AMSA deployed its Perth-based challenger search and rescue jet which found castaways last Friday morning. Then, AMSA asked for assistance from the Royal Australian Navy, which deployed its warship. The HMAS Parramatta reached the three castaways at 21:00 last Saturday.
As it often happens, it’s just as a first contact between the rescuing ship and the boat is established that rescue operation enters its hardest phase. Since it was not possibile to approach the sloop, the captain of the warship, Simon Howard, decided to deploy a helicopter which successfully winched all three crew members to safety.
” The rescue operation was coordinated in a very professional way under extremely hard conditions”, the captain of the HMAS Parramatta claimed.
The three castaways were reported to be in good health and they landed in Albany, about 400 km far from Perth, in South Australia, yesterday.
As mentioned above, the reasons for the accident have not be revealed yet but the general poor conditions of the boat seem to suggest that the dismasting was probably caused by a violent storm.
That of last Saturday is the second ocean rescue operation coordinated by AMSA in the last two weeks. About 15 days ago, in fact, another crew was rescued from a sailing boat which had suffered serious rudder failure.