Susie Goodall has been safely rescued from her broken yacht in remote seas 2,000 miles off the coast of Cape Horn — and the British sailor’s friend tells PEOPLE the nightmare has left her “completely destroyed.”
Goodall, 29 — who was single-handedly yachting the world non-stop in the Golden Globe Race — was craned onboard rescue vessel Tian Fu just after 10:30 ET Friday morning and is now safely recovering and heading to dry land in Argentina.
“ON THE SHIP!!!” Goodall tweeted to her Twitter followers, who have been glued to her developments while being stuck at sea.
Yet even this part of her two-day ordeal wasn’t plain sailing: Goodall’s backup engine failed as the Tian Fu approached, leaving her with no option other than drifting towards the 40,000-ton ship using a sea anchor.
The dramatic rescue marks the end of a harrowing few days for Goodall, who was knocked unconscious Wednesday when her yacht the DHL Starlight rolled in heavy seas, snapping her mast in three places.
“Her boat was pitchpoled (head to head) and then she was rolled sideways,” Dutch yachtsman Mark Slats — her fellow competitor who is currently second in the race — exclusively tells PEOPLE. “She was at the chart table but was lucky because she laid on the bed just before it happened, and actually everything that went wrong ended up on that bed during the rollover.”
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He continues, “She went unconscious for a moment. She fell on the head. But after she got up, she started to fix everything and saw the mast from the deck.”
Slats, who spoke to Goodall the morning before her rescue, describes the solo yachtswomen as “completely destroyed” by the terrifying incident.
“She told me that she was having a very bad day,” he says. “The boat is really absolutely destroyed, total loss. Even the chain plates [metal deck fastenings] have been pulled out of the deck. The railing is completely off the boat. Everything is broken.”
Having clung on for rescue for two days in rolling, 16-foot seas, Goodall was exhausted ahead of her rescue. Says Slats Friday morning, “She is incredibly nervous to climb onboard because she feels weak. But I told her, ‘You just have to go. You can do it. Give it all.’”
Slats adds: “It is, of course, incredibly difficult for her. Her whole life went into that boat. She lost everything. It is hard to leave your boat now and leave it there at sea. It is all incredibly difficult. It will take a while before she gets over this.”
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