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Video of the event is at  Mast Failure Video

The fore t'gallant/royal mast carried away, while it was being struck and sent to deck using
a crane barge.  The mast had severe rot in the wake of the royal yard batten and had
developed a fracture on the after side at the royal gate.  This fracture extended over 1/2
through the spar.  We determined that it would be to dangerous to send the mast and yard
to deck using ship's gear - the way we normally send spars to deck.
Here is the fore royal yard batten and gate.  
The crack is just inside the leathered iron
gate.  Also notice the extent the yard batten
is digging into the rotten mast section.  
This appears to be heart rot and is very
A large crane barge from Manson
Construction was hired to strike the
damaged top hamper.  
I went aloft to the main topmast cross
trees to act as a spotter, since this gave the
best overall view of the evolution.
Crew members in the basket detaching the
starboard royal brace and rigging a temp
brace/tag line.
Casting off the port royal brace. And just a
few seconds later......... The mast carried
away just above the royal topgallant
Luckily the mast section and royal yard
stayed aloft.  The royal starboard foot rope
caught the stump of the t'gallant above the
hounds and the royal pole section caught
the port t'gallant lift.

We were very lucky no one in the basket
or on deck was hurt
The aftermath.  Time to regroup and figure
out what next!
We decided to sling the broken royal mast and yard as a unit.  Using the slings to
help capture the yard, preventing it from slipping off past the broken end.  The
hardest part was clearing away the tangle of shrouds, backstays, tye chains, etc.
Clearing the fore royal stay from the
forward side of the rig to the after side
was a challenge.  We had to clear it from
the starboard yard arm of the fore t'gallant
yard and the topsail yards.
Almost to deck
The rotten and fractured section of the
mast.  Not much good wood was left.

To think that just a week earlier, Chris
Jannini and I were on this mast inspecting
the rotten area and coming up with a game
plan on striking it to deck safely.  LUCKY.
YouTube video