We had an immense struggle pulling them in by hand, but between Mate John Johnston and me, we got them back into the back of the boat pretty rapidly

Lance Bombardier Luke Templeton

St Barbara sailed around the upturned hull until the other two crew had been sighted - one had been trapped briefly under the upturned hull until freed by a shipmate - and then began hauling the sailors from the Atlantic.

"We had an immense struggle pulling them in by hand, but between Mate John Johnston and me, we got them back into the back of the boat pretty rapidly," said Luke.

"Our arms were burning and our hands on the verge of bleeding from rope burns.

"The female who was clearly in a lot of shock couldn't compose herself and climb up the ladder so we had to haul her up on to the deck with brute force."

The whole rescue lasted took less than 30 minutes.

St Barbara then raced into the nearest port, of Las Galletas, where British and Dutch yachtsmen were waiting to offer dry clothes, warm drinks and even cash to the Tyger's crew - a mix of Swiss and Germans - before the emergency services arrived on the scene.

"The fact that the five casualties spent so short a time in the water and were all safely recovered with no physical injuries is testament to the cool-headed, professional actions and speedy responses of the entire crew. A truly magnificent effort by all involved," said Lt Col Wilson.

"They were all very shaken and the female, in particular, was suffering from shock, but the harbour authorities took good care of them and we bade them farewell. They were most grateful."

HMNB Devonport

Learn more

Royal Marines Commando

Join us