- Published on Sunday, 16 January 2011 15:20
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Picture source: http://www.phuketemagazine.com/blog/2010/12/blue-water-rally/
Keith Harding a 68 years old skipper injured his arm, and he was unable to navigate correctly. He contacted the Falmouth Coastguard in order to receive some medical advices to gain control over the boat again. Unfortunately, the situation aggravated after an hour, and he wasn't capable of handling the force 11 winds.
Keith Harding sent a mayday before Baccus, a Sun Odyssey of 45.2 meters started to sink. He from Kent and his crew, Colin Clarke from Cambridge and Sieste Hoff from Belgium, were all rescued by a merchant vessel named Maersk Surabaya. The latter was passing by to go to Malaysia and was informed about the situation from the Falmouth Coastguard. Baccus was left there, swallowed by the sea. The three crew is traveling back to Malaysia in the ship.
Marc Thomas, who is the watch manager of Falmouth, said: 'Satellite broadcasts and EPIRB alert meant rescuers could get assistance to the yacht quickly."
He also said: 'Utilizing the good relationships we have with both the Sri Lankan and Indian coastguard, it was possible to rescue all three of the crew of the Baccus.'
In 2007, Mr. Harding along with his wife Susan (pictured above together in Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia) who is now 63 years old started the Blue Water Rally. However, unluckily, due to their old age, they had much health related issues during their time passed in the big blue sea. On many stages, they both had to go back to their country, which is UK, because of illness.
In 2008/9, Mr. Harding was treated from a pancreatic cancer successfully. He is free from cancer. However, Mrs. Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and had to stay in the UK for medical treatment. This is the reason why she wasn't alongside her husband in the Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, no one knows what worse or less bad would have occurred if she was with him on that yacht.
The two British citizens no longer own a yacht. The dream of circumnavigating in the sea is now over for them. Even so, most important of all, they are still alive. Their son, James Harding, who is passionate about yachting describes the loss of the yacht as 'like losing a member of the family'.