50ft yacht lost steering and began taking on water

A sailor was rescued after a whale hit his yacht around 40 miles off the western coast of Mexico.

It took Max Young a while to realise he’d lost steerage in the collision, his wife told the Associated Press. She said it took the solo sailor even longer to realise he was taking on water.

Young stuffed a mattress into the hole created by the whale, turned on all four bilge pumps and began bailing water.

The 67-year-old activated his EPIRB and the coastguard was able to direct a merchant ship to make the 60-mile trip to rescue him.

Click here to watch Yachting Monthly’s videos on how to stop a boat from sinking. The video is part of Yachting Monthly’s Crash Test Boat series, which shows you how to cope with disasters at sea.