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Black Watch Receives Well-Deserved Medal for Heroic Rescue
In June 2014 an emergency distress call was received from the Taylor 41 Wandrain. The boat had sustained serious hull damage and was taking on water. The Rocket Science, Black Watch and the Dorade responded to the mayday and the Black Watch dropped out of a race to go to the rescue of the Wandrian. A decision was made that the Black Watch would escort the Wandrain to safety at Bermuda. The custom S&S yawl reached the vessel in distress and immediately started temporary damage control. The crew implemented a secondary ‘dam’, removed the bottom of the bailing bucket, split it in two and then secured it to the rudder post with glue. They then filled the remaining cracks and holes with silicone and Duct tape; they then hoped for the best. There was a serious risk that the tube holding the post would crack open from shaking.
Three perilous days
For the next three days the Black Watch kept close to Wandrain, often circling her as she made her way to safety in Bermuda. The death-defying trip was over 300 miles long and several adjustments had to be made to the main sails. The crew also did what is known as a ‘Crazy Ivan’ – an emergency manoeuvre that was made famous by the movie The Hunt for Red October. The crew was under severe distress and had to pump the water by hand all the way to Bermuda.
Honoured for their bravery
Just over a year after the heroic actions of the crew of the Black Watch, they were awarded with Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals by the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee. The ceremony and celebratory dinner took place in Greenwich at the Indian Harbour Yacht Club on the 13th of November 2015. Here the brave crew was rewarded for their actions in saving the lives of the crew of the Wandrain as well as rescuing the ship.