SEVEN French sailors cheated death on Wednesday August 1 2012 when their 16-metre catamaran capsized in a squall in the Sound of Sleat.
Force 6 winds were blowing when the Pampero’s 22-metre mast was hit by a freak gust and she flipped over between Knoydart and Isleornsay on Skye.
Several of the crew were trapped inside the cabin and had to swim out to safety using head lamps.
An EPIRB radio distress beacon was activated when the vessel overturned and Stornoway Coastguard was alerted.
Mallaig Lifeboat quickly located the stricken vessel around 10.30pm using the coordinates from the satellite device.
The crew launched their on-board inflatable to bring the shivering party on board.
The French party spent the night in accommodation at the Fishermen’s Mission in Mallaig.
Peter Foster of Armadale-based wildlife cruise firm Seafari Adventures picked up the incident on VHS radio,and took his boat out from Mallaig to tow the Pampero to Isleornsay.
Mr Foster told the Oban Times:‘They were very lucky – everything happened so fast. I went out to assist and pulled the boat out of the Sound of Sleat shipping lane.’
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