On the night of September 26th, Wind Surf was sailing along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia towards Pula, its next port of call, when two red distress flares were spotted off the starboard side by the bridge team and a number of guests. Captain Alan MacAry quickly arrived on the bridge to determine the next course of action.
Wind Surf changed its direction and began sailing toward a distressed sailboat while trying to contact them over the radio; however, no answer was heard. Other small vessels in the vicinity also began to respond to the flares and attempt to make contact.
Wind Surf was the first one to spot the sailboat and it became evident the boat’s sails had ripped and the engines wouldn’t start. The weather continued to worsen with strong winds and swells. Captain MacAry quickly launched a rescue boat with the Chief Officer, 3rd Officer and two sailors.
The rescue boat proceeded to the stricken sailboat, and discovered there were seven people onboard. The nine foot seas made it impossible for the rescue boat to come alongside the yacht, however the Wind Surf itself was used to provide shelter. With the wind blocked, the people on the distressed sailboat were able repair to the sails enough to regain some control and sail back to land.
At this time a small Croatian Coast Guard boat arrived and helped guide the yacht toward shelter on the closest island.
Wind Surf picked up the rescue boat, along with four wet crew members, and waited until the yacht was safely ashore, then resumed her passage towards Pula, Croatia.