Stranded Environmental Activists Find Salvation Aboard Oil Tanker
If nothing else, Mother Nature has a sense of irony.
(Extreme Ice Survey)
Two British environmental activists, whose carbon-neutral voyage to Greenland's polar ice cap resulted in a storm-induced mayday call, were rescued by (wait for it) … an oil tanker.
The activists, Raoul Surcouf and Richard Spink, were two weeks into their adventure aboard the Fleur, a 40-foot yacht outfitted with solar panels and a wind turbine, . Thousands of schoolchildren had planned to follow the green expedition online.
But the weather was not cooperative. The ship encountered hurricane-force winds and waves battered the vessel, strong enough to destroy the solar panels and the ship's generator. The yacht capsized a total of three times before the crew was forced to issue a distress call to the coast guard and hope for rescue.
"The decision was made that the risk to our personal safety was too great to continue," Spink said in a statement.
Those hopes were realized in the form of the 113,000-ton tanker Overseas Yellowstone, carrying 680,000 barrels of oil. The ship picked up the Fleur's crew about 400 miles off the Irish coast.
Irony aside, the crew praised the tanker's Captain Ferro and his men for being "outstanding in the execution of the rescue."
"They are extremely relieved to just be alive," said Jess Tombs, a spokeswoman for the expedition, told the Guardian.
The Fleur's crew is scheduled to arrive in Maine later in the week.
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