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Banque Populaire XI

Kingston was on passage Gibraltar to UK when the call came in that a small vessel was required to assist with the salvage of a capsized Vendee Globe competitor.

Banque Populaire XI had capsized in an Atlantic storm and was somewhere 450mn west Portugal. The skipper had been recovered by a fishing vessel, however the state-of-the-art vessel valued at multiple millions of euros was being battered by the relentless Atlantic storms.

Kingston diverted to Peniche to refuel, restored and took some additional crew for the project including 2 divers. Time was of the essence as there was a small tracker on the vessel although it had a limited battery life. Kingston set sail in record time and made best speed and after 3 days reached the casualty almost running over the remains of the trimaran as it was getting dark. The tracker had done its job.

Unfortunately, the vessel hadn’t faired very well. It had broken into several pieces, so the crew set about recovering as much debris as possible before connecting a tow. This was easier said than done as being a racing yacht there was very little in the way of attachment points. The connection was made, and the slow tow was commenced towards the coast of Spain. Further storms battered the tug and tow which averaged 2knots for the next 10 days, due to the weather and the yacht continued to break up. Due to the slow towing speed Kingston was able to extend her endurance capacity and performed faultlessly throughout the project. After as they closed the coast the speed of tow increased and after 17 days at sea the Kingston finally reached the shipyard in Vigo Spain where the remains of the yacht were delivered to their owner. Kingston then refuelled restored and proceed to the UK coast.

Kingston was able to undertake such a project due to her Category 0 coding as a small workboat.


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