On November 19th, Steve Arnold from West Mercia will set sail from Les Palmas, Gran Canaria to sail to Rodney Bay, St Lucia, for the second time. 

Steve Arnold commented " I will be raising money for West Mercia Search and Rescue, and any donation is truly appreciated".

Sailing the Atlantic can be extremely dangerous. Steve's first attempt in 2015 ended abruptly when the yacht sank just two hours after he and the crew had boarded the cargo ship SCL Basilea.

On that day in 2015, at 5:15pm, Steve made the decision to send a mayday call, only 15 minutes after discovering that the floor boards were being lifted by water filling the bilges. 

Steve remarked, "The coastguard maritime emergency services did not cover themselves in glory. Our lives were saved only by the captain of SCL Basila, who, upon recieving a DSC digital distress call, made his own decision to come to our rescue."

They looked for any ovbious leaks, checked all the hull fittings, and tried to bail the water out using extra pumps and buckets. However, after the water reached waist height, they had to abandon the saloon and chart table for the relative safety of the deck.

To their relief, after seven hours of waiting, the cargo ship arrived. However, after launching their rescue boat, it was quickly overwhelmed by six meter waves and thirty knots of wind.

After struggling for a further two hours, they finally positioned the cargo vessel in between themselves and the threatening waves.

The rocket-propelled throwline landed on Steve's deck, enabling them to pull themselves toward the cargo vessel. However, as they came along side, the cargo vessel heeled over on a large wave and crushed the side of Magritte, breaking both masts.

As they drifted away, the second and third rocket-propelled throw lines got caught in the wind and didn't get anywhere near Steve and his crew. After a few more attempts, they finally got a line to them, when a crew member performed a herculean throw of a heavier line from high up in their conning tower, which just about reached their foredeck.

As they got pulled to the side of the cargo ship, Magritte's bow was reduced in size by six feet as it crashed in to the side of the cargo vessel. 

The second time they were pulled to the side, Magritte's starboard side rubbed against the port side of the cargo vessel as the deck was still travelling against the strong waves.

Both boats were gradually seperated by the forceful waves. Each crew member made a leap for their life onto a wet rope ladder before climbing up to safety on to the deck of the cargo ship.

After Steve's first attempt at sailing the Atlantic didn't necessarily go as planned, he will be giving it another try in November this year while raising money for West Mercia Search and Rescue.

Click the link below if you would like to donate to this important cause.