Turkish woman crossing Atlantic rescued after losing command of sailing boat
Serkan Ocak ISTANBULA Turkish woman, who had aimed at being the first Turkish woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by herself with a sailing boat, was rescued by a nearby ship about 120 nautical miles away from Cape Verde, after the steering wheel of her boat locked.
Dilek Ergül, who set sail from Istanbul in June 2014 to be the first Turkish woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean, had an accident just two days after she left Cape Verde and was rescued by a nearby ship upon calling for help.
Ergül sailed about 3,100 nautical miles (5,741 kilometers) from Istanbul to Cape Verde, which she left on Jan. 11 to cross world’s second largest ocean. After sailing 120 nautical miles in two days, Ergül heard a loud sound from the back of her nine meter-long sailing boat “Symina.” She then realized that she had lost control of the steering wheel.
Fighting waves exceeding four meters and trying to survive through a storm, Ergül tried to return to Cape Verde three times to no avail, as control was lost at the helm and she was left to the mercy of the sea.
About 20 hours after Ergül heard the sonic boom, she requested aid from a nearby ship, the “KP Albatross,” which rescued her. She was forced to abandon Symina to the ocean.
Having set sail in order to raise the necessary expenses for 10 female students for the educational Darüşşafaka Society, Ergül sent a letter saying the accident was not the end of a dream, but rather a “brand new start,” according to Darüşşafaka Society’s website.
The Darüşşafaka Society, which was established in 1863, aims at providing equal opportunity in education to talented children who have lost one or both parents.