A CATAMARAN sailed into a drilling platform blinded by thick fog last night and started to take in water.

As rescue launches arrived at the scene, the sailing boat’s captain informed them that he had isolated the leak and kept the boat afloat.

The call for help was made at 3.30am on Sunday night by the Stena Drillmax anchored on the east side of the Rock.

It reported that the catamaran had crashed into it and could be in danger.

Gibraltar port immediately contacted the captain of the small sailing boat who informed them ‘he was taking in water’.

Customs launch ‘Searcher’ and another boat, ‘Ultimate Dream’, were directed to the scene by the Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) located at Windmill Hill.

Customs Seacher 2
Searcher: The Customs launch was first on the scene after the collision

When they got there the catamaran crew assured the authorities they had managed to get the situation under control.

“The Captain of the yacht declared that his vessel was taking on water but that it was being contained in a watertight compartment at the bow,” said the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA).

Safe and sound

The catamaran then followed ‘Searcher’ and ‘Ultimate Dream’ into Gibraltar port.

The damage is now being looked at so that the necessary repairs can be made, although the boat was declared ‘safe’.

Drillmax 2
Drillmax: Easy to spot from Gibraltar beaches, but tougher at sea in thick fog

The Stena DrillMax is a large ship used for drilling at sea which is one of three that has been in Gibraltar waters since April.

Owned by Stena Drill, it is a UK-registered drill platform which has been awaiting orders after being paralysed by the COVID-19 global crisis.

The GPA has since thanked everyone involved in the rescue operation ‘for their quick and professional response’.

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