Friday, July 11, 2008

tragedy at sea...

The two Telefonica team boats have come to the aid of a stricken refugee vessel on the second day of their qualification run in the Mediterranean.

Telefonica Black and Telefonica Blue were sail testing off the coast of Almeria when they encountered a six-metre boat with over 30 people including young children on board.
Authorities confirmed that some of the occupants, believed to be of African origin, had died during the ill-fated journey after the engine on the craft had broken down.

Both Spanish Volvo Open 70s abandoned testing to assist the vessel. Having notified the Spanish Coast Guard the crews stood by until rescue teams arrived. The incident was logged at 18.15 hours (GMT) last night and occurred 30 miles south of Almeria (36.13N 02.44W).

The rescue, by the Spanish Coast Guard, took place at 20.10 GMT. The Telefonica boats were cleared to resume training and headed for the Atlantic 20 minutes later.

The Telefonica syndicate head Pedro Campos, who has been in direct contact with the crew members on both Spanish boats, reported that they were disturbed at coming into direct contact with the tragedy but were pleased that they were able to facilitate the rescue. -