Five crew were evacuated after the BM39 yacht started sinking, just days after starting the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from Grand Canaria.

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) is now over for the German crew of the Noah after they were rescued when their BM39 yacht started sinking.

The Grefrath family – skipper Alexander, his wife Alexandra, their two sons aged 10 and 12 – and fellow crew member Jörg Zeibig are now heading to Santa Cruz de Tenerife after being evacuated onto the Royal Research Ship James Cook at 16:45 on 23 November 2016.

The rescue was coordinated by MRCC Tenerife with assistance from several ARC boats close to the position.

The ARC, which is organised by the World Cruising Club, left Gran Canaria for St Lucia on 20 November 2016.

In a statement, the World Cruising Club said: “At 1218 (UTC) today (23 November 2016), ARC Rally Control was contacted by Alex Grefrath, skipper of ARC yacht Noah via email to advise them that the yacht was taking on significant volumes of water, the source of which could not be identified.”

“Whilst remedial action was taken to stem the in-flow, the crew were unable to locate the source of the water leak.”

“A MAYDAY was issued at 14:09, as electric pumps were no longer functioning and manual pumps unable to control the flow. The distress alert was received by fellow ARC yachts Ocean Dream, White Satin, Step by Step 2 and RRS James Cook.”

“They announced via All Ships call their intention to accept assistance from James Cook, releasing ARC Vessels to continue,” said the statement.

After the Noah was evacuated safely, the RSS James Cook headed for Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The vessel is expected to arrive in the early morning on 25 November 2016.

The abandoned yacht is being tracked via its YB3 satellite tracker and is expected to sink completely.

Vessels in the area have been advised.