Sunday, December 9, 2007

Father and son saved in Atlantic

A father and son from the Isles of Scilly were rescued after their yacht got into trouble in rough seas while crossing the Atlantic.

Peter Kyne, 48, called for help after the yacht Spam lost its mast and started taking in water about 750m (1,207km) from the Caribbean.

The yacht was on the same route as the ARC race, and a nearby boat responded to a mayday call.

Mr Kyne, his son Alan, 17, and another man, 33, were all helped to safety.

The yacht lost its mast and started taking in water after developing holes in strong winds.

'Good communications'

Mr Kyne used a satellite phone to call for help from the 9.3m (30.5ft) long yacht, which was not taking part in the ARC race.

A spokesman for Falmouth Coastguard said: "The yacht was well-equipped with good communications and all the necessary life saving apparatus.

"The men were instructed to stay with the yacht as long as it stayed afloat, but ready to evacuate to a life raft if required."

Coastguards contacted ARC race control who were able to broadcast to all their race yachts as well as making a distress relay broadcast into the area.

Another yacht that was accompanying the race responded to the distress calls and picked them up.

The crew were being taken to St Lucia and were described as being "safe and well". The yacht Spam is later believed to have sunk.

The ARC yacht race goes from Las Palmas De Gran Canaria to finish at Rodney Bay St Lucia in the Caribbean.

Ship’s Pilot Is Charged in Oil Spill

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7 — A California maritime agency has filed misconduct charges against the American captain at the helm of a Chinese container ship that hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Nov. 7, spilling 58,000 gallons of fuel and fouling 40 miles of shore.

The agency, the Board of Pilot Commissioners, accused the captain, John J. Cota, of piloting the ship at an unsafe speed despite heavy fog that posed an obvious threat in navigating the 900-foot vessel under bridge.

Mr. Cota’s lawyer, John Meadows, would not answer questions on Friday, but has previously said Mr. Cota complained about faulty equipment and radar that flickered as he tried to maneuver through a narrow channel.

“The matter is in the hands of the State Board of Pilot Commission, and we cannot comment,” Mr. Meadows said. “Mr. Cota is very sad at all the loss of animal life and the threats to his career.”

Mr. Cota, a 25-year shipping veteran who could lose his license, has 15 days to respond. He is entitled to a hearing before the state panel, which cited errors in judgment and “misconduct.”


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