The sailing yacht Clyde Challenger was abandoned in treacherous weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean on 610 nautical miles south west off UK coast. The fourteen crew members were rescued in mid-Atlantic by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon after the yacht suffered damage in bad weather and sent an emergency beacon alert. The UK Coastguard received distress alert and started search and rescue operation. To the scene of the distressed yacht was diverted Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon, as well as UK and US aircraft, which provided communications assistance. All the crew were rescued by the navy vessel without reported injuries in complicated and dangerous operation, being under the heavy winds and stormy seas.
The sailing yacht could not be recovered and has been abandoned, remaining adrift in bad weather. Clyde Challenger suffered damage to the mast and sails, after nearly 48 hours drifting in the challenging conditions. Fortunately the crew of the yacht, which was chartered for corporate and charitable clients, were rescued and transported to UK for medical treatment, but without reported serious injuries.
The yacht started the Ultimate Atlantic Challenge with voyage from Caribbean on January 9. The crew and sailing yacht Clyde Challenger successfully reached Azores and on February 5 after bunkering resumed the voyage to UK. Unfortunately just 2 days after started voyage was caught by heavy storm, which broke the mast and damages the sails. The yacht and her crew were adrift in mid-Atlantic in immediate danger from sinking for another two days before being rescued by UK navy.
The local authorities initiated investigation for the root cause of the accident. Clyde Challenger could not be safely recovered to the mainland so she has been scuttled with the assistance of the UK Navy. Before, many recovery options were investigated with the co-operation of the coastguard, salvage agents and insurers.
The sailing yacht Clyde Challenger has overall length of 18.00 m, moulded beam of 5.00 m and maximum draft of 2.00 m.