It isn’t every day that a cruising yacht with engine trouble and damaged rigging is assisted by a 170-foot square-rigger, but that’s just what happened when the 42-foot sailing yacht Gobo issued a distress call in the early hours of July 30 in the Cook Islands.
Relayed by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand, the call for assistance went out to all vessels within a 300-nautical mile radius. At 180 nautical miles away, the three-masted Nova Scotia built sail training ship Picton Castle was determined to be the closest vessel capable of assisting.
Capt. Michael Moreland immediately ordered the Picton Castle’s crew of trainee sailors, working under the tutelage of professional mariners, to take in all square sails and fire up the main engine. It would take 29 hours to reach the stricken yacht.