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Crew deserts yacht as tanker hits

Satu, pictured in calm waters, was hit by a supertanker.

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SINGAPORE -- The crew of a yacht competing in the Volvo Singapore Straits regatta had to abandon ship seconds before a collision with a supertanker.

The accident happened after a sailor on the yacht Satu was swept overboard in 2m seas during a race from Batam, Indonesia to Changi, Singapore, on Sunday.

The crew radioed for help when the woman was flung into the sea after she became entangled in rigging.

The yacht's engine failed to start and they lost sight of their crew member in the stormy seas.

Two coastguard vessels were dispatched, but had to rescue the remaining crew after they all decided to abandon the yacht when the supertanker came bearing down on them.

The crew were swept down the entire starboard side and past the propellers of the enormous ship before being rescued by the regatta's safety vessel.

The female crew member was found about three hours later by a navy helicopter. Intermittent tropical storms and the approaching darkness had hindered the search.

She was suffering from minor bruising, but once on land was able to walk from the ambulance to her waiting family and friends at the Changi hospital.

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