Trans-Pacific yacht race crew safely rescued by competitor after boat sinks

Trans-Pacific yacht race crew safely rescued by competitor after boat sinks
Race headquarters sign for the Transpacific Yacht Race (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A sailboat sank early Monday after the vessel faced rudder problems while participating in the 50th Transpacific Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Race organizers reported that their race tracking system activated an emergency signal from Santa Cruz 70 OEX after crew members made a mayday call when water began entering the vessel around 2 a.m.

“At this stage we’re not certain about the cause of that damage,” said TPYC Race Chairman Tom Trujillo. “We have subsequently learned that OEX has sunk.”

The Coast Guard Sector San Diego launched a helicopter for rescue but returned after hearing another vessel came to help.

Waikiki Yacht Club member Roy Disney, who is skippering the 68 Pyewacket, spotted the crew members and rescued them, race organizers said.

All nine crew members aboard the boat are safe without injuries, officials said. They are expected to arrive into Marina del Rey Tuesday morning.

The Santa Cruz 70 OEX sank at about 3 a.m.

A skipper aboard a Maserati Multi 70 also reported damage to the vessel’s left hull bow and rudder wing after colliding with an unspecified large floating object, officials said.

“We didn’t understand what it was but it was very big, it came out of the water, at least one meter high out of the water,” said skipper Giovanni Soldini, according to a news release. “It hit the left side hull with great force, severely damaging it, then it glided along the hull and hit the rudder. The fuse system worked, but the object was so big that we lost the outer half of the wing.”

The boat took damage half of its rudder wing, forcing it to stop for an hour for reparations.

The Maserati has resumed sailing, however officials say the damage is likely to impede their progress.

The race involved three separate starts on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Some 90 boats entered the 2,225 nautical mile race however officials said six boats left — the race due to multiple issues.

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