Falmouth Classics regatta: Boat sinks with sailors on board as race hit by strong winds

'The wind was so strong, as the boat went over another gust hit us' Credit: Michael Hall

An historic boat ended up on the seabed after high winds hit vessels competing in the Falmouth Classics regatta on Friday 14 June.

The Falmouth Working Boat named Victory was blown over by a gust, quickly taking on water and sinking to the bottom.

It was not the only vessel to get into trouble that day - another capsized and one lost its mast.

Victory's owner, David Carne, described the moment he realised the conditions had got the better of him.

David and his crew all ended up in the water Credit: Michael Hall

He said: “I thought we’d go over to the most sheltered side of the harbour underneath Trefusis.

"I was being very cautious but the wind was so strong, as the boat went over another gust hit us and being an open boat, we sank.

"It was on the bottom within 15 seconds, fortuitously we sank in a nice soft, shallow bottomed place."

'Victory' is relatively unscathed after sinking and David wants her back in the water in the coming days Credit: Michael Hall

David and his four crew members were rescued by the Falmouth Classics safety boat.

He co-founded the regatta in 1987 and said this wouldn't put him off sailing.

"Worse things happen in life, that sort of thing doesn’t phase me at all," he explained.

David added that he plans to get Victory back to sailing again in the coming days, with a view to competing in the Falmouth Classics next year.

'Victory' sat on the seabed at Penarrow Point Credit: Michael Hall

HM Coastguard confirmed that it received reports of three vessels in difficulty off Falmouth at around 3pm on Friday 14 June.

The first was a seven-metre sailing yacht that had "de-masted" at 2.51pm. It was towed to shore by a race support vessel.

At 3.14pm the call came in about Victory. She had capsized and sunk with people in the water.

Then at 3:15pm another sailing vessel capsized leaving two people in the water. All were recovered and required no further medical assistance.

'Victory' under sail in Fowey during a previous regatta Credit: Michael Hall

It was a team effort to help those in need, Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team, Falmouth RNLI lifeboats, race support vessels, local vessels in the area and an HM Coastguard helicopter were all sent.

On Sunday, Seawide Services recovered Victory with a team of five divers and a number of specialist recovery boats.

'Victory' being towed back to land Credit: Seawide Services