Tragedy on Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

Published on November 29th, 2021

Hosted by the World Cruising Club, the 36th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) began their ocean crossing on November 21 from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria toward the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. But bad news is now reported concerning a casualty among the 141 participating yachts

Max Delannoy, a crew member on board the ARC yacht Agecanonix, perished during the night of November 26-27. The full circumstances of the incident are not known at this point.

The three-man, all French crew, were sailing Agecanonix, an X-Yachts X4.3, as part of the ARC IRC Racing Division, and had opted for a course well to the north of the rhumb line route to Saint Lucia, aiming to avoid the light winds affecting the southerly route close to Cape Verde.

A MAYDAY call was made from the Agecanonix around midnight November 26-27 requesting a medical evacuation. However, the injured crew member Max Delannoy was declared dead before any outside help could be provided.

MRCC France Gris-Nez were initially involved in controlling the incident, before passing over to MRCC Ponta Delgada in the Azores, as the closest station to the Agecanonix. At the request of MRCC, the cruise ship PV Mein Schiff 1, diverted to evacuate Philippe Anglade, who was also injured, Jean-Philippe Anglade and the body of Max Delannoy.

PV Mein Schiff 1, arrived at the distress position as planned around 21:30 UTC (27 Nov). Weather locally was easterly Force 8, with rough seas of 4-5 metres.

The larger vessel was positioned to create a lee for the rescue operation. After assessing the situation, the ship’s rescue boat was deployed and started approaching the Agecanonix. During this time winds started gusting to 40+ knots and Agecanonix started moving out of control and the rescue operation had to be aborted. PV Mein Schiff 1 then remained in the vicinity waiting for the weather to improve and for daylight.

At around 14:00 UTC on November 28, MRCC Ponta Delgada reported that the rescue operation was successfully completed, with both crew and the deceased safely on board, and PV Mein Schiff 1 had set course for Funchal, Madeira. The Agecanonix has been abandoned at approximate position 29° 3.71 N, 026° 30.38 W and continues to be tracked by MRCC via the on-board YB tracker.

UPDATE: As Max Delannoy was taking the helm for his night shift, the boom violently hit him in the head. Philippe Anglade, who was in the cockpit, was able to hold him back from falling into the water, but he died suddenly.

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