The 126-metre Lürssen Octopus, best known for being owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and once the world’s largest superyacht, rescued a sailor who had got into difficulties 645 miles south-west of San Diego two weeks ago, reports AMVER.

The 11-metre sailing yacht was sailing from Hawaii to Catalina when its sails became damaged. Octopus is a member of AMVER (the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue), a voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange quick and easy assistance for anyone in distress at sea, and the rescue alert reached the superyacht, the closest vessel at 50 miles away. Octopus diverted to the scene and arrived three hours later.

A search aircraft was dispatched by the US Coastguard too. One sailor, 37, came aboard Octopus, but the smaller’s yacht’s skipper resisted abandoning his boat and was passed fuel, food and water. He was given medical attention for stomach pains and the skipper continued to California at only 4 knots.

This is not the first time this year the superyacht has been involved in a rescue mission. In July, after docking in London for the Olympics, the yacht was loaned to the Royal Navy to attempt to retrieve the bell from World War II battlecruiser HMS Hood. Although the wreck was explored, bad weather and technical issues stopped the mission short of the bell being retrieved.