Air Force helicopter rescues British and French sailors off Algarve’s west coast

Stranded in a sailing boat with a broken mast, two sailors – one British and one French – had to be rescued by an Air Force helicopter on Sunday morning as they floundered off the Algarve’s treacherous west coast.

The Mara Amu – sailing under a French flag – ended up being destroyed as it was dashed against rocks near Arrifana beach, near Aljezur.

Its crew – both men in their 60s – were winched to safety around 14 kilometres from the beach, having sent out a distress call.

They were described as fit and healthy, and did not require hospital treatment.

The rescue operation, using an EH-101 Air Force helicopter – involved Lagos ports authorities and was coordinated via Lisbon’s MRCC (maritime rescue coordination centre).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com