Why did the GGR sailors Tomy and McGuckin not scuttle their dismasted sailboats when they evacuated?

A lot of folks wondered why the two Golden Globe Race racers who were rescued on September 24, 2018, by the French FPV Osiris did not scuttle their dismasted sailboats before evacuating. Floating around the Southern Ocean, they potentially pose a hazard to navigation and are a risk to other racers who were behind the third and fourth placed Abhilash Tomy of India and Gregor McGuckin of Ireland. Here is the scoop. This is straight from today’s Golden Globe Race newsletter:

Capt. Donde [Abhilash Tomy’s manager] also announced plans to salvage Tomy’s yacht Thuriya, left drifting in the Indian Ocean when he was recovered by the crew of the French Fisheries Patrol ship Osiris on Monday. The plan is for the Indian Navy to tow Thuriya to St Paul’s Island some 40 miles north, and leave a crew to make repairs and sail her to land.

McGuckin’s yacht Hanley Energy Endurance was also left drifting when the Osiris crew picked him off the yacht. In a statement today, Neil O’Hagen, spokesman for Team Ireland said


Photo credit: Indian Navy/GGR/PPL; Abhilash Tomy is taken off his Suhali replica yacht via stretcher on September 24, 2018,1900 nautical miles from Perth Australia in the Indian Ocean.

“During the controlled evacuation of Hanley Energy Endurance, McGuckin was instructed to leave the vessel afloat. The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris instructed McGuckin that scuttling the vessel would be in breach of international maritime regulations. Hence, McGuckin removed all debris from the deck that could become separated, secured all equipment on board, and ensured the AIS beacon was active. The power source to the AIS device is solar panels which should remain active without any outside assistance, reducing the risk to other vessels. Precautionary steps were also taken to ensure the relatively small amount of fuel onboard is secure.

Indian Naval Commander Tomy is reported to be standing and has no broken bones as part of the back injury that incapacitated after his boat was rolled in a 70-knot storm with 15-meter waves. The Indian Navy plans to move Tomy to India from the Isle de Amsterdam where he and McGuckin are staying. The Australian Navy plans to take McGuckin to Australia in a few days.

Dr. Linus Wilson, is a USCG licensed “six-pack” captain and is the creator of the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast and YouTube Channel. He has written several books about sailboat cruising, including How to Sail Around the World Part-Time. The Slow Boat is currently in the Kingdom of Tonga.


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