It was 1740 UTC when Ian Herbert Jones first saw the Taiwanese Fishing Vessel ZI DA WANG arriving from the North. 26 hours before, the Shropshire sailor closing the GGR fleet in the southern Atlantic was unable to make contact by sat phone. He chose to set off his EPIRB to make sure the Search and Rescue chain of his zone -NAVAREA 6- knew where he was, and that he was facing a bad situation.

Ian had been in heavy weather for a full day already but was unable to deploy his drogue as the wind intensified. Not trailing a drogue or warps made it difficult to keep Puffins stern into the waves and avoid being rolled by the building sea.

The condition soon became overwhelming as the boat could not be held direct downwind. Two hours later, in a SW wind of 55 knots, gusting 75 knots and 8-meter sea, Ian manually lifted the safety cover of his YB3 Satellite tracking and texting device and pressed the distress alert button. This is recognized GGR distress protocol for all entrants, suggesting something more serious had happened.

In fact, at 1930 UTC Puffin had been rolled and dismasted, and her Master had hurt his back and gashed his head in the ordeal. He tried to get out and cut the rig to avoid the mast opening a hole in the hull but conditions were too dire to finish the job. So he went inside, sorted the water ingress through a cabin hatch and proceeded to pump the water out before resting. Read on.