PERIGEE was the SM that went to the assistance of the circa late-70s sloop-rigged AMEL (we thought it was an EURO, but now we're not really sure), that lost the top half of it's mast about 350nm north of Antigua in November 2017. [Reference made by Brent Cameron: Topic "Replacing standing rigging", 03-Jan'18]
The seas in the preceding 24 hours were less then 2m, sustained winds less than 15kt. Passing squalls bringing higher gusts +10-15kt with confused seas, but not violent. The evening prior, we saw distant lightning in the vicinity of were the dis-masted vessel would likely have been, but the conditions we experienced were not at all adverse.
The single-handing owner later reported that a shackle at the masthead had lost it's pin, bringing down the stay and then, in a squall, the mast. The vessel received further fuel from other passers-by, and made it to it's original destination of St Maarten, where we met him and heard more detail. The mast had by that time been re-built, and the owner has since left in his AMEL to sail the seas.
Hardy boat, hardy owner.
I hope that this update provides some clarity on the matter.