When I sent out the Mayday, I had in the back of my mind that it could take some time before anyone could set course for our position. Because I had been resting, I was not immediately aware that there was a ship in our vicinity. In the first instance I sent out my Mayday via VHF, also keeping in mind the EPIRB in case there was no response. However, I did not have to activate the latter.
From my training I had learned that, if at all possible, you should contact your insurance company before leaving the yacht. It sounds banal, during such a stressful situation, but this helped us tremendously. We followed all their instructions (except that of bringing the spinnaker under the boat, which was not on board). A few hours later, at my first contact with the home front, the insurance company was already taking care of the necessary arrangements.
It is important that you are insured for the area where you sail as not all insurance companies cover a transatlantic trip, for example. The first question I was asked by the insurance company during the debrief was what certificates I have. With my Master Commercial Yachting Unlimited I can sail (commercially) all over the world. If you do not sail commercially (which was the case here), you do not need to have these certificates, but it does give the authorities more confidence if it is clear to them that the captain knows what he is doing.
After I had given the order that everyone had to get ready to leave the ship, on the advice of the insurance company, and certainly understandably, it was said that everything of great value could be taken along. When transferring these items, there was also the possibility of taking extra clothing with you. This is highly recommended and certainly worth asking the ship that comes to rescue you. After all, if you are rescued on the ocean, you will have to stay on that ship for a few days. You are a guest on this ship and are expected to disembark at the first port of call. This is quite difficult in sailing gear.
We were permitted to leave the MV Independent Pursuit after traveling five days to Philadelphia (USA) on the condition that we were admitted by the immigration service of the USA. The prequisite for this includes proof of airline tickets to our destination, in my case Belgium, 24 hours before arrival in Philadelphia. Most cargo ships have satellite communication to place phone calls, but unfortunately booking tickets yourself is not possible. It is therefore very practical that you have someone at home you can fall back on to organize logistics so this person should have all your personal details ahead of time.
In general, having someone on the sidelines is important and they should have a call list, so that the necessary actions can be taken on your behalf. This person on the sidelines can also distribute information with the facts from onboard.
Arruno is insured by Pantaenius.