Queen Mary 2 rescues race yachtsman caught in Atlantic storm

Updated: 

The Queen Mary 2 ocean liner has rescued a lone yachtsman taking part in a transatlantic race. 

The man was rescued in the area of the Mid Atlantic on Saturday and while his boat, called Tamarind, suffered severe damage, he was not injured, according to the Royal Western Yacht Club (RWYC) of England. 

It comes as a North Atlantic storm - 60-knot winds and 15-metre seas - hit competitors of the single-handed transatlantic race and two-handed transatlantic race which left Plymouth at the end of last month.

The RWYC said the extreme conditions, which began in the early hours of Friday, caused damage to many boats with three emergency beacons triggered.

The Canadian coastguard in Halifax immediately reacted to the situation sending ships and air support to all the boats in distress.

As well as Tamarind, four other boats were affected but no injuries were reported.

On its website, the RWYC said: "The RWYC would like to thank all personnel at the Halifax Coastguard for their immediate and magnificent response to this emergency situation. All seafarers owe them a debt of gratitude."

A Cunard spokesman said: "We can confirm that Queen Mary 2 was involved in a rescue operation at the request of the MRCC at Falmouth, (UK Coastguard). The rescue was coordinated by Canadian Coastguard in Halifax.

"The lone yachtsman is now safely on board Queen Mary 2."

Master of Queen Mary 2, Captain Chris Wells, who led the rescue mission, said: "It is standard seafaring practice to go to the aid of a vessel in distress.

"We were pleased to be able to help and delighted that the yachtsman is safe and well and now on board Queen Mary 2."