The rescue operation to save English yachtswoman Susie Goodall is under way after her boat violently capsized during the Golden Globe Race 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn.
Goodall, 29, lost her mast after the boat pitchpoled during a storm and had to wait two days for a ship to arrive.
But organisers say there are still “challenges” to the rescue, which will be carried out by a 38,000-tonne ship.
The plan is to lift her onboard using a crane in storm conditions.
Goodall, who is the youngest competitor in the non-stop solo round-the-world race, said waves in the southern Pacific Ocean were beginning to drop to three to four metres.
But conditions are considered too difficult to launch a rib-boat from the 119m cargo ship, which is sailing from China to Argentina, so the Tian Fu’s crew plan to use one of its four cranes to lift her off her yacht and take her on board.
With her mast-less boat pitching up and down in the waves, Goodall will have to manoeuvre her DHL Starlight vessel alongside the moving cargo ship and use a harness to attach herself to a swinging hook.
Golden Globe founder and organiser Don McIntyre said: “It will be tricky. There are still plenty of challenges, and for Susie, it will be a hell of a ride.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed but we have the utmost confidence in the ship’s crew.”
Goodall was in fourth place when her boat capsized in 30-35 knot winds, following a failure in the automatic steering system.
The pitchpole – rolling end over end – was so violent she was was knocked out.
When she came to, she raised the distress signal, which was first picked up by Falmouth Coastguards.
She then tweeted to say she was “totally and utterly gutted”, and has since been seasick because of the mast-less boat pitching in the waves.
McIntyre said: “She was in shock and during a dramatic phone call didn’t want to abandon the boat. But we had to make her realise it was more serious than she thought.”