The crew of 60m SY Seahawk aided the rescue of a man stranded at sea off the island of Dragonera, just west of Mallorca, during the Copa del Rey regatta in August. The 84-year-old yacht owner was knocked into the sea in stormy weather by his boat's boom and survived more than four hours in the water.

Seahawk racing in the 2015 Perini Navi Cup. Credit: Carlo Borlenghi

Reports state that Jacinto Rodriguez, owner and skipper of Duende 52, was not wearing a life jacket when he fell overboard in darkness at around 4.30am, but his padded trousers helped to keep him afloat.

He had been sailing in Spain’s 34th Copa del Rey regatta and, while sailing off the island of Dragonera in winds of 35 knots, the boat unexpectedly gybed and the boom hit him on the forehead, throwing him overboard. Duende’s crew issued a mayday and a rescue helicopter was scrambled, but initially no trace of Rodriguez was found.

The crew received a special mention at the prize giving for their role in the rescue. Credit: Carlo Borlenghi

During the search the helicopter radioed its location to other vessels in the area and the crew of the passing Seahawk reported they had spotted someone in the water. With the aid of Seahawk’s crew, Rodriguez was winched out of choppy seas and transported to hospital by helicopter.

During the prize giving of 2015 Perini Navi Cup last week – in which the yacht came third – Seahawk’s crew were given an honorary mention for the pivotal role they played in Rodriguez's rescue.