All thirteen crew members of the Clyde Challenger, one of the vessels taking part in the Tall Ships' Races 2008, were rescued overnight on 16th-17th August from their stricken vessel in the North Sea. All are safe and well. The 18m cutter was competing in final leg of the race series, from Bergen to Den Helder when she reported taking on water and issued a Mayday call at around 2150 hours.
Two Search & Rescue helicopters were dispatched by the Humber Coastguard, who coordinated the rescue with the race organisers Sail Training International. The crew of the Clyde Challenger were taken on board another competitor in the series, the TS Loyalist, less than an hour after the Mayday. They were later transferred to the KV Andenes, a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel. Divers from the Andenes were put on board the Clyde Challenger to inspect the damage and stop the leak, which is now believed to been caused by a fractured pipe in the engine compartment.
The Clyde Challenger is still afloat, now being towed by the KV Andenes to Den Helder. A regular competitor in the Tall Ships' Races and other regattas, the Clyde Challenger has also completed four round-the-world races. Jim Smith, the Director of Clyde Sail Training Trust, has been in direct contact with Humber Coastguard and has contacted the families of the crew members to reassure them that the crew are safe.