Sailboat stranded at sea: Eight crew members rescued by helicopter after engine, rudder, sail fail in rough waters


Eight people were rescued by helicopter from a sailboat that suffered engine and rudder failures in rough seas in the southernmost part of Svalbard on Thursday morning, according to The Joint Rescue Coordination Center of Northern Norway.

The rescue center was notified at 6:15 a.m. the sailboat needed assistance due to high winds and waves southwest of Sørkapp.

“The engine failed, the rudder was broken and the sail torn so they had no further propulsion,” Tore Wangsfjord, an inspector for the rescue center, told NRK.

One of The Governor of Svalbard’s rescue helicopters was sent to the site. It arrived just before 11 a.m. and the eight crew members aboard the ship were brought aboard the helicopter by 11:45 a.m.

“Everyone is picked up by the helicopter and is in good condition,” Wangsfjord said.

The crew members were flown to Longyearbyen and the Norwegian Coast Guard is towing the damaged sailboat.