UPDATE: Yacht skipper relives drama after Portsmouth warship saves crew in Atlantic

8/7/2016 (MOL)

HMS Dragon was rededicated in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on Friday.

Picture: Sarah Standing (160941-6380) PPP-160807-154546001

8/7/2016 (MOL) HMS Dragon was rededicated in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on Friday. Picture: Sarah Standing (160941-6380) PPP-160807-154546001

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THE crew of HMS Dragon saved the lives of 14 sailors caught in treacherous weather conditions after their yacht suffered damage in the Atlantic ocean.

The Portsmouth-based Type 45 Destroyer was diverted 500 miles away from a routine task to provide life-saving assistance to the crew of the 60ft Clyde Challenger.

The yacht had left the Azores on February 5 and was bound for the UK when it suffered significant damage following days of strong winds and heavy seas.

Working with UK and US aircraft as well as merchant shipping vessels, HMS Dragon was tasked to locate and rescue those on the stricken yacht.

Sprinting at 30 knots through the turbulent seas, the Type 45 eventually reached the yacht at 2.30pm on Saturday to help.

Petty officer Max Grosse, the chief bosun’s mate on board HMS Dragon, said: ‘When we arrived on scene, it was clear the yacht had lost its mast and looked in a pretty desperate state after nearly 48

From left, Leading Seaman Sally Hughes, Able Seaman Kyle Porteous, Clyde Challenger skipper Roy Graham, Elisabeth Ligethy from the Clyde Challenger, Leading Physical Trainer Ryan Billington and Petty Officer Max Grosse. Picture: Royal Navy

From left, Leading Seaman Sally Hughes, Able Seaman Kyle Porteous, Clyde Challenger skipper Roy Graham, Elisabeth Ligethy from the Clyde Challenger, Leading Physical Trainer Ryan Billington and Petty Officer Max Grosse. Picture: Royal Navy

hours drifting in the challenging conditions.

‘We were however hugely relieved to see all 14 crew alive and well.

‘Despite racing through the night, we only had three hours of daylight remaining in which to safely remove the crew.’

Those on board suffered minor injuries and were taken onboard HMS Dragon as it was decided Clyde Challenger could not be safely recovered.

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