My Name is Simon Lucas. I am a MCA Master 200t Unlimited with 20,000 miles sea time. On 12 May 2018, Myself, crew Amelie Josse and Owner Peter Watson were attempting a crossing from NZ to Fiji in a 24m Steve Dashew Designed FPB 78. Its a custom built world wide cruising motor vessel with 6000 mile range, 2x 235hp engines, and an average cruising speed of 10knots. Weather was 2-3m SE swell with 30knots SE and expecting to ease over the course of the passage.
At 0700 on the 12 May, 200 miles south of Denarau, Peter came up to the Pilot bridge with serious suspected Internal bleeding; high blood loss and further examination confirmed this. Heart rate elevated to over 110 bpm when standing. We immediately turned for Fiji. Peter was stable but weak and nauseous. This was my first emergency at sea. My biggest concerns were the time to safety, where the best location to go was, how to get there, what to do once we got there. This is where Yacht Partners Fiji were essential and in my opinion the hero’s of the day.
Note: We had been in contact with Carol Dunlop for several weeks. Peter is a friend of her husband Colin and Carol had supplied her super helpful charts and waypoints for three weeks of cruising in Fiji. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time in Fiji and had safely navigated some very tight reef passages while following her waypoints. Even when the charts suggested we were aground. I knew from this, I could trust her directions explicitly.
After contacting Carol things moved very quickly. We were communicating via Iridium Go and Sailmail. Within a couple of hours we had a helicopter and ICU nurse on standby, and detailed waypoints to a resort with full medical facilities. It took away all the stress of passage planning and allowed me to focus on the patient, my crew and the boat. This was essential for the 15 hours it took to get back. I was working on 3 hours sleep and the constant communication and reassurance was pivotal.
Also behind the scenes her Fijian co-worker Josephine Morris had organized customs clearance, a berth at Denarau Marina, a rental car if needed on arrival and an extra crew member to assist berthing when we arrived.
We got exceptional service when we needed it most and all of this on a Sunday, from a 1000 miles away. I highly recommend YPF for everything and anything you may need while in Fiji. Peter is recovering well and just returned to the boat. Vinaka vakalevu!