Portuguese Coast



Survivor Stories


Portuguese Coast

Portuguese Coast
Lives saved






Crash or collision

Crash or collision

Rogue wave

Rogue wave


Portuguese Coast

41.1579438°N, -8.6291053°W

Posted on February 2, 2020 by Hervé Delamarre

What happened?


Our 80ft trimaran Ultim’emotion( MMSI 228192900, Callsign: FWAN,Ex Gitana 11), has left the port of La trinite sur mer on Saturday August 31st at 6 pm, for a delivery to  homeport Sete. There were 5 persons on board. Five experienced sailors.  

The boat was in perfect conditions for offshore navigation and fully equipped with security equipment according to the RSO. 

At the time of the capsize, the parameters were as follow:

location: 50 miles north west of Porto

Last position plotted at 3.15 am: 41° 10’967 N.   008 ° 45’366 W

Course heading: 220 ° 

time: Monday September 2nd, 3.46 am

wind: 25/28 knts

Speed of the boat: 20/25knts

TWA (true wind angle) : 140

sails configuration: 2 reefs and solent

dark night

Sea state: 3 (3 meters high)

The navigation was smooth and the wind was progressively going down compared to the wind at cap Finisterre. 3 persons inside the vessel and 2 persons outside: One wearing lifejacket and clipped on in the cockpit was helming the boat and the sail trimmer, wearing his lifejacket and clipped on as well.

Suddenly a massive wave caught the boat and the boat became out of control within 2 seconds taking high speed on this huge wave. Despite the effort of the helmsman, the front of the boat entered the wave and we had no time to release the main neither the solent. The boat capsized by the front.

The 2 persons outside felt into water but rapidly succeeded to join the cockpit.

Once everybody inside and the vessel secured, (batteries shut down, hatches closed, integrity of the hull checked…),3 rescue beacons were immediately activated (Vessel EPIRB + PLB GPS + personal  ais beacon)

I went outside to fix my ACR RESQLINK on the trampoline to give clear view to sky.

AIS bacon activated, I got portable VHF to send mayday to vessels in the vicinity.

Once we got an answer, I fired one flare and asked for a mayday relay with medical assistance (2 of us severely injured)

Less than an hour, one first fishing vessel was here. They were asked to stay , it was too risky, with sea state, to organize a rescue with their type of boat.

At 7 am the search and rescue Portuguese team show up with a SAR helicopter.

The 5 of us were airlifted into the helicopter .We landed in Lisbon military base then we have been driven to the hospital.

All of us were injured but only two have been hospitalized for several month.

Everybody is fine today.

Today, we know that the distress message was first detected by French MRCC “CROSS GRIS NEZ” broadcasted from my PLB ACR RESQLINK.



Words of wisdom

 Get a PLB and trust World SAR Team.

Thank you note

Thanks guys for you product. As written above, your device, my PLB RESQLINK+ was the first to be detected by MRCC.

Rescue location

41°10.967’N, 008°45.366’W

Rescue team

Coast Guard


Go to product details

This Product has been Upgraded. Click Here for Available Upgrade. It may be small, but it's tough. The ResQLink™+ Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a buoyant, GPS-enabled rescue beacon that's suited for outdoor adventures of all sizes (think: everything from hiking and cycling to hunting and fishing). Should you run into an unexpected survival situation, the ResQLink+ PLB will relay your location to a network of search and rescue satellites, allowing local first responders to more easily get you home safe and sound. Be Prepared for the Unpredictable!  
  • Buoyant
  • LED strobe light
  • Self Test
  • 66 Channel GPS
  • Easy emergency activation
  • Antenna clip


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