The cargo ship Tian Fu has rescued Golden Globe Race skipper Susie Goodall. The vessel is now heading to Argentina

Susie Goodall rescued

The crew of the Hong Kong registered cargo ship MV Tian Fu has successfully rescued British yachtswoman Susie Goodall  2,000 miles west of Cape Horn.

Susie sent the text:  07 Dec 15:14 UTC:  ON THE SHIP!!! Position: 45′ 10.711 S 121′ 40.157 W

The ship is now bound for Modran, Argentina, and expected to reach port on 22 or 23 December.

Cargo ship Tian Fun on its way to help Susie Goodall

Golden Globe Race organisers have announced that the Hong Kong-registered cargo ship, Tian Fu will now reach skipper Susie Goodall by 2100 UTC today.

The 29-year-old is currently preparing her grab bag and equipment, as well as her liferaft for launch if needed.

It is likely that Goodall will be recovered by crane winch from either her dismasted Rustler 36, DHL Starlight or her liferaft after the crew of the Tian Fu confirmed that they will not be able to launch their SOLAS recovery boat.

The good news is that she has managed to get her engine working, which means she will be able to motor to the ship if requested.

Goodall has deployed her sea anchor and is drifting at approximately 1 knot. The sea state ie now 5 metres and the wind has dropped to around 20 knots.

The Tian Fu is currently motoring at between 6-10knots, depending on wind and sea conditions, so Goodall has been advised by MRCC Chile to switch on her SART Radar transponder from 1400UTC.

Goodall’s family issued a statement last night via the skipper’s official Facebook page thanking everyone for their support.

‘The support for Susie has been overwhelming, and we want to say thank you to everyone! All of your kind messages will keep her busy when she gets back online. It’s been 158 days since she used a phone, let’s hope she remembers how they work…

‘She managed to get a few hours sleep last night but is struggling to eat or drink. Because of the damage on deck, water is making its way into the boat. The bilge fills every hour, but she can easily pump it out.

‘She deployed her sea anchor to help keep the boat steady, but it’s not easy in choppy seas without a mast. A cargo ship from Hong Kong is en route, due to arrive in the night. They’ll wait for the morning light before attempting to evacuate her. We’ll post further details about the rescue when we know more.’


Rescue on its way

Rescue is on its way to Golden Globe Race skipper Susie Goodall, who’s Rustler 36 pitchpoled and dismasted in a ferocious Southern Ocean storm some 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn yesterday.

The operation is being co-ordinated by MRCC Chile, which has asked the Master of the Hong Kong-registered cargo ship, Tian Fu to divert to rescue the 29-year-old.

The 38,000 tonne general cargo ship, which is sailing from China to Madryn in Argentina, is currently doing 10 knots and is expected to reach Goodall by 0500 UTC tomorrow (7 December 2018).

Goodall’s yacht, DHL Starlight was left without rigging or a jury rig after pitchpoling stern over bow. The yacht’s engine is also not working.

Susie Goodall passing through the first GGR gate head of entering the Doldrums

With no rigging or mast, Susie Goodall is experiencing extreme whipping motion on her Rustler 36 as she awaits rescue. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

Her safety equipment remains intact and the hull and decking are secure, although small amounts of water are coming in, but the pumps are coping with the egress.

She has also lost all her emergency water.

Over the last eight hours, conditions for Goodall have been moderate to rough, with a large 5 metre sea and winds of around 35 knots.

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With no mast the whipping motion is extreme onboard.



Plans will be made later today on how to evacuate Goodall from her yacht.

Golden Globe Race HQ said options were being looked at including the launch of the SOLAS man overboard recovery boat by the crew of the Tian Fu. Goodall may also have to climb a rope pilot ladder up the side of the ship.

Although the wind is expected to ease, the sea could remain at 4-5 metres.


Susie Goodall dismasted

Golden Globe Race entrant Susie Goodall is currently bailing out her Rustler 36, DHL Starlight after the yacht pitchpoled and dismasted while battling 60 knot winds.

The 29-year-old is reported to be ok, although she did suffer a ‘nasty head bang’. She will now require assistance, having lost her rig and jury rig, although her safety equipment remains intact. The yacht’s engine is also not working.

The hull and deck of DHL Starlight are secure.

Race organiser said they were alerted to the situation by the UK Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre at 1100 UTC today (5 December 2018) after Goodall activated her EPIRB.

Map showing position of Susie Goodall when she dismasted

Susie Goodall is still having to deal with storm conditions. Image taken 15:15 UTC on 5 December 2018

MRCC Chile is now in charge of co-ordinating any rescue, and has contacted a ship 480 miles south west of Goodall’s position. It is expected to reach the area in two days time.

Goodall had sent one of her routine text updates to GGR HQ just a few hours before the incident, which read: ‘TAKING A HAMMERING! WONDERING WHAT ON EARTH IM DOING OUT HERE Position: 45′ 33.054 S 122′ 37.061 W at 05 Dec 08:29 UTC”

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She made contact again after activating her EPIRB reporting that her liferaft was ok.


Goodall, who was in fourth place, had been battling the storm for more than 24 hours, having to deal with sudden changes in sea state and 90 degree wind shift.  

Speaking to race HQ she said: ‘I have been dismasted. Thought I had holed the hull because the boat filled with water, but the hull is NOT holed. The hull is OK. The boat is destroyed. I can’t make up a jury rig. The only thing left is the hull and deck which remain intact. We were pitchpoled and I was thrown across the cabin and knocked out for a while.’

She confirmed that all hatches, portholes and safety equipment were secured and she didn’t need immediate assistance.

She said that before the incident, she had been enjoying the conditions and felt in control. But then the safety tube on her Monitor self-steering broke and she was forced to trail a drogue anchor astern and take down the mainsail.

She was below decks when the boat was pitchpoled, and when she returned on deck to assess the damage, found that the line attached to the drogue had parted.

Goodall also reported that she ‘has been beaten up and badly bruised’ with cuts and scratches and a big bump on her head.

MSOS, the GGR’s 24 hour medical telecentre has been advised and doctors are now monitoring her symptoms and providing direct medical advice

Thankfully, the winds have since dropped down to 45 knots and conditions are likely to improve further as the storm continues to head east.

Third placed Uku Randmaa is some 400 miles ahead of Goodall in his Rutler 36, One and All, but has also being dealing with the same weather system, which means he will be unable to turn back to offer assistance.

Both had been advised by Race HQ to make east wherever possible in order to avoid the worst of the storm.

Susie Goodall wearing a red jacket and wearing a black hat

Susie Goodall had changed her storm tactics after her experiences in the southern Indian Ocean. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

Fifth placed Istvan Kopar in his Tradewind 35, Puffin is some 800 miles behind Goodall, and is now on course to intercept DHL Starlight. He is expected to reach her position in six days time.

Goodall had changed her storm tactics after experiencing several knockdowns in the southern Indian Ocean, favouring warps and hand steering over a drogue.

Commenting, Race Chairman Don McIntyre said: ‘We are monitoring the situation carefully, speaking to Susie every hour and working with the Chilean Search and rescue authorities on the best course of action to take. We have also informed her family and are keeping them informed.’

This is the fifth Golden Globe Race entrant to have abandoned the race due to their boat being dismasted.

On 27 August 2018, Norwegian Are Wiig was rolled and dismasted some 400 miles south west of Cape Town, but managed to make it to the South African port using his jury rig.

Both Irish skipper Gregor MuGuckin and Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy had to be rescued after their yachts were dismasted on 21 September 2018 during storms in the southern Indian Ocean. McGuckin also managed to set up a jury rig on his Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance and sailed to assist Tomy, who had suffered a broken back.

They were later rescued some 1,900 miles south-west of Perth, Australia, by the crew of the French fisheries patrol vessel, Osiris.

French Golden Globe Race yachtsman Loïc Lepage was also rescued on 23 October 2018 after his Nicholson 32 MK X Laaland dismasted 600 miles south-west of Perth and began taking on water.

Out of the 16 skippers who crossed the start line on 1 July 2018 in France, just five are left in the race, including French solo yachtsman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede whose Rustler 36 Matmut pitchpoled during a Southern Ocean storm, resulting in damage to the connecting bolt attachment to the mast that holds all four lower shrouds.

He has since made repairs at sea, and continues to lead in the race, predicting he will cross the finish line by 23 January 2019.