At the end of October, MetOcean Solutions helped an insurance company find a yacht called the Jolly Rogers, which had been abandoned on October 5th off Spain’s Cape Finistere during the Mini Transat 6.50 race. To help the insurance company, MetOcean ran simulations and used Copernius Marine Service datasets.
The yacht a MINI 6.50 was abandoned on October 5th off Spain’s Cape Finisterre after technical issues. The the sailor, Luca Sabiu, activated his distress beacon was airlifted out by helicopter by the Spanish navy. The Jolly Rogers was left at sea.
The yacht was considered lost until it was seen October 20th . Based on the sighting position, they a retrieval mission. With a storm and high waves, it was estimated that the boat had probably drifted far from where it was seen.
Olivier de Roffignac of Pantaenius contacted MetOcean Solutions to find out how the drift of the boat over several days could be determined.
Searching for a 6 m sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said MetOcean Solutions’ oceanographer Simon Weppe. “We found a large variability in the predicted tracks depending on which current data we used. In this location, MERCATOR OCEAN currents and the ECMWF winds yielded the best predictions”
MetOcean Solutions forecasted the drift trajectory of the boat looking at wind and currents. They used the Copernicus Marine Service Gobal Ocean model currents in order to perform this drift trajectory and were able to locate the boat within a 2 mile error.
“In this case, getting the current-related component of the drift was important because the yacht had sails and rigging dragging in the water, which would have acted as a sea anchor. In that region of the world, the MERCATOR OCEAN currents models are obviously more accurate than the RTOFS ones”.
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