25 July 2018

IVS Phinda rescues two yachtsmen in distress

Published by Grindrod Shipping Holdings Ltd in General

Grindrod Shipping is happy to report the successful rescue of two Australian sailors from their stricken yacht, by the crew of the Company’s general cargo vessel “IVS Phinda”, some 370 km north of Darwin, in the Timor Sea. early in the morning on the 23rd of July. 

The sailors were travelling to Australia from Indonesia in their yacht, the Jepeda IV, when they lost their mast in rough weather. They activated their distress beacon at around 1130 hrs local time, on Sunday night, July 22, which was picked up by AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority), who immediately broadcast to shipping in the area requesting assistance.
In the best traditions of the Merchant Marine, the Master and crew of the “IVS Phinda” established the location of the dis-masted yacht and diverted course arriving at 0830 hrs on the morning of July 23 where they took the two sailors on board. 

AMSA’s Manager of Search and Rescue, Alan Lloyds commented that the rescue reflects the ‘true spirit of seamanship.’ Also stating that ‘the sea is a dangerous place, and it’s highly reassuring to know that help is always at hand. We commend the crew of the IVS Phinda for their efforts.’

Below is a letter we received from Nick and Erica:

Dear Sir

We write to express our deep gratitude to your company for allowing your ship, IVS Phinda, to divert from its commercial course to come to our rescue. We are very conscious of the huge costs involved in such action, probably in fact far more than the value of the yacht we lost. So a very sincere and heartfelt thanks.

We also wish to record our impressions of the extraordinary Captain and crew of IVS Phinda. They carried out the rescue operation in very, very difficult circumstances. The Phinda was fully loaded making her slow to respond to the helm at low speed. The sea, whilst modest to a ship of the size of Phinda, was confused and about 2 - 3 meters and had our yacht rocking and rolling quite alarmingly. To top things off, our fallen mast, tethered only by its shrouds was dangling over our cabin top and trailing its top in the sea behind. It was, in effect, an uncontrolled rudder which kept turning our boat and making the Phinda's job of lining up, getting close and throwing lines extremely difficult.

With great skill, your ship was eventually passed by us close enough to get lines aboard and your crew were unbelievably swift and determined in getting the lines secured and manouvering our boat along side. The ladder was rapidly deployed, one of your crew appeared on our deck to help, our little collection of bags was quickly hoisted aboard and we were assisted to climb aboard too. Erica insists that without the vocal encouragement and physical assistance of your men, she would never have made it up the ladder. Then, the concern your crew showed to determine that we were well and not injured was amazing. They took us by the arms and led us to a seat to get our breath back and to check that we were OK. The words don't exist to effectively express our appreciation of and admiration for their efforts.

Now, a day later we marvel at the help and courtesies delivered to us by all members of your crew. You can be justifiably proud of the team you have on this fine ship.

Thank you once again,

Yours very sincerely,
Harry N (Nick) and Erica Nicholson