Our Friends Hit a Whale – Their Boat Sunk

Dear World ARC Fleet,

At 2254UTC we received a phone call on the 24 hours Rally Control number from crew member on board a non-World ARC boat, SY ORPHEUS, Canadian flag, MMSI 316041524, reporting a distress call issued by SY RAIN DANCER at approximately 2230UTC.

The sailing yacht has been hit by a whale and sunk. Four people, including skipper Rick Rodriguez, are in a liferaft adrift at approximately position 11d30’75”S, 117d26’09”W. They have food, radio and an Iridium Go, number UNK.

Rally Control has passed this information to several coordination centres from the area and proximity, and we have just been informed that Rescue Coordination Centre from Peru is now in charge of the operation. Some of the World ARC fleet yachts in the proximity might be asked to assist. Please be vigilant, maintain your dual listening watch on VHF Ch. 16 & 72, keep your sat phones ON and check emails regularly.

Best regards,
World ARC Rally Control – Suzana


Yesterday, March 13, at approximately 1630 (4:30pm) local time four souls aboard the 42’ Kelly-Peterson sailboat “Raindancer” abandoned ship into a life raft about 1500 miles offshore en route from Galapagos to Marquesas, French Polynesia. They had collided with a whale and suffered a breach in the hull. A little after midnight they were recovered by another yacht in the area called “Rolling Stone”. All are safely aboard. Weather conditions were benign, the crew were young, fit, experienced mariners, and there were several other boats within about 10 hours of their last known location. These factors made the rescue operation as uncomplicated and manageable as could be hoped for.

Rick and Alana, the captain and first mate of Raindancer, are friends of ours. We met them about six months ago in Bocas del Toro, Panama where we were both berthed at Red Frog Marina. They had a little long haired dachshund named Basil who befriended Pippa. Basil didn’t make the passage to Marquesas and is safely in Vancouver with a friend. Raindancer and Matilda have been on a similar itinerary since November 2022 so we have seen a lot of each other. The other two people aboard were Simon and Bianca. Rick celebrated his 30th birthday a couple of weeks ago in Galapagos. We believe he was the oldest person on Raindancer.

Rick said he would send a report of the entire incident to all of us currently at sea on the same passage as Raindancer. We will put that on our blog when we get it.

I know that my younger sister is going to want more details so here you go, Dawn. For the abandon ship Alana was probably wearing an off the shoulder linen blouse from Anthropology or something. Kinda slutty, but, hey I’m not her mom. What is appropriate attire for a disaster-at-sea event anyway? She probably says she doesn’t want to get married, but I bet she would say yes if Rick asked. After all she IS almost thirty; biological clock and all that. Are they going to want children? IDK. What do you think? I mean Rick is totally nice and super cute and everything but I think she could do better. He doesn’t even have a boat anymore. So, we will see.

4 thoughts on “Our Friends Hit a Whale – Their Boat Sunk

  1. dawnliles1

    Wow and yikes! Let us know when you hear from Rick.
    And OMG of course Alana should consider other options. What good is a man without a boat??


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