In a statement, the Portuguese Navy explained that it received an alert that a sailboat was located about 1,220 nautical miles (2,260 kilometres) southwest of the island of São Miguel, with shortages of food, water and no fuel.

The “Eriu” sailboat had four crew members on board, three of whom were Irish and one British.

"The Liberian flag merchant ship ’Strimon’ was asked to assist the sailboat, with food and fuel being supplied to the sailboat at 2:02 pm on 5 January", explains the note.

The Portuguese Navy adds that the sailboat “Eriu” continued its voyage to the island of Santa Lucia, Caribbean, “safely, thus avoiding a situation of real danger to the lives of the crew”.