Round-the-world sailor rescued after dismasting in violent storm

Ian Herbert Jones

A sailor taking part in the round-the-world Golden Globe race has been rescued after his boat was damaged in a south Atlantic storm.

The nine-month, 30,000-mile endeavour is billed as one of the world’s most dangerous and extreme sporting challenges.

Ian Herbert-Jones, from Oswestry, Shropshire, had been approaching south America when he raised a distress signal on Monday (10 April 2023) after his vessel Puffin became dismasted and began taking in water amid 100mph winds.

Herbert-Jones, who injured his head, shoulder and back as he attempted to control the boat, was picked up by a Taiwanese fishing crew on Tuesday (11 April 2023).

During a call to rescuers, Herbert-Jones described the conditions as “crazy” and recounted how the wind had caused the mast to “hang over the side and slam into the boat”.

Speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire, Golden Globe race official Don McIntyre said the situation had been “life-threatening”.

McIntyre adds: “He was a little bit desperate, obviously very anxious, the boat was in real trouble because of the extreme winds. It was gusting heavily so the boat was on its side.”

PUFFIN' at Les Sables d'Olonne GGR 2022 Start Date 4th of Sep 2022. @GGR  Nora Havel
Puffin at Les Sables d’Olonne on 4 September 2022. Image courtesy of GGR/Nora Havel

The skipper was rescued by the crew of Taiwanese fishing vessel Zi Da Wang, thanks to a joint effort coordinated by Britsh Coastguards, the Taiwanese government and an Argentine rescue centre.

Herbert-Jones is currently en route to Cape Town, but needs to decide whether or not to scuttle Puffin.

“Certainly the boat is now lost,” McIntyre told the BBC. “It’s about 1,200 miles off the coast of Brazil, there’ll be more and more storms but at the moment it’s still afloat … you wouldn’t want someone else to come and hit it.”

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