HMS Dragon has rescued a yacht crew in the Atlantic Ocean after being diverted from an exercise designed to prepare the ship for carrier strike group operations.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Defence:
“HMS Dragon was diverted 500 miles away from a routine tasking to provide life-saving assistance to the crew of the 60ft Clyde Challenger racing yacht.
The yacht had left the Azores on 5 February 2017 and was bound for the UK when it suffered damage following days of heavy seas.”
Petty Officer Max Grosse, the Chief Bosun’s Mate on board HMS Dragon said:
“When we arrived on scene it was clear the yacht had lost its mast and looked in a pretty desperate state after nearly 48 hours drifting in the challenging conditions.
We were however hugely relieved to see all 14 crew alive and well. Despite racing through the night we only had three hours of daylight remaining in which to safely remove the crew. Luckily HMS Dragon is fitted with two large sea boats capable of carrying six passengers each.”
The warship had been learning how to work as part of a ‘Carrier Strike Group’ in preparation for the deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth. The exercise saw a simulated British ‘Carrier Strike Group’ involving HMS Queen Elizabeth and 36 F-35B jets.
According to a press release, British personnel have been taking part in ‘Fleet Synthetic Training’, exercises used to put US Navy carrier strike groups through their paces.
The Ministry of Defence said:
“Working from the Maritime Composite Training System site at HMS Collingwood, US carrier strike groups, including the USS Harry S Truman, have worked with ops room personnel from HMS Dragon and HMS Richmond, both of which played the vital protection role for the carrier.
Regular and reserve personnel from across the Naval Service, as well as colleagues from the RAF and defence experts from the US have also been involved in the role-playing.”
Once safely on board HMS Dragon, the crew were afforded ‘medical attention, hot food and the opportunity to call loved ones at home.’