Everyone loves irony and this tale has irony in spades. Why they chose to go to sea across the North Atlantic in April escapes me. The seas and winds are guaranteed to be awful. Most likely they faced a strenuous expedition to the peak of the ice cap pushing their schedule, and we can hope there is a well beaten path there, or this must be recorded as one of the more ill conceived adventures put together lately.
In the event, been rescued from folly by an oil tanker nicely reminds everyone that the oil industry is huge for a very good reason. The modern world uses a lot of energy and will continue to expand that use. Someone recently said that every American has the energy equivalent of over fifty human slaves working tirelessly for him.
There is no better description of the difference between modern and pre modern. It is a transition that the rest of the globe is also making.
We certainly have to replace oil, but it will not be by accepting less energy. It will be by producing huge amounts of new energy, and most of that will be grid energy now that the advent of the electric car is truly eminent.
And that is it isn’t it. 85,000,000 barrels of oil per day will be replaced and ultimately over the next three generations five times its energy equivalent will be built out in the form of mostly fusion and fission reactors. It is a great time to be in the power engineering business.
In the meantime, folks will go to sea in small boats with slim appreciation of the risks. And Mother Nature will remind them who the boss is at sea and with the ecology.
Eco-sailors rescued by oil tanker
An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.
Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).
All three are reportedly exhausted but safe on board the Overseas Yellowstone.
Mr Surcouf, 40, from Jersey, Mr Spink, 31, and Mr Stoddart, 43, from Bristol, are due to arrive in the USA on 8 May.
The team, which left Mount Batten Marina in Plymouth on 19 April in a boat named the Fleur, aimed to rely on sail, solar and man power on a 580-mile (933km/h) journey to and from the highest point of the Greenland ice cap.
The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.
But atrocious weather dogged their journey after 27 April, culminating with the rescue on 1 May after the boat was temporarily capsized three times by the wind.
In one incident Mr Stoddart hit his head and the wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.
Water was also getting into the boat from waves breaking over it and the crew took refuge in the forward cabin.
The crew were 400 miles (644km) off the west coast of Ireland when they sent a mayday to Falmouth coastguards who co-ordinated the rescue with Irish coastguards.
The transfer from the Fleur to Overseas Yellowstone was achieved in 42mph (67km/h) winds.
Mr Spink and Mr Surcouf were able to jump across to a rope ladder. But Mr Stoddart fell into the sea, was thrown a line by the crew and hauled aboard.
Team spokeswoman Jess Tombs said: "They are all overwhelmingly relieved to be safe.
"They would like to give heartfelt thanks to the coastguards for their professionalism as well as to the outstanding captain and crew of the Overseas Yellowstone."