Simon Le Bon, lead singer of the rock group Duran Duran, and 27 others were rescued by a Royal Navy helicopter yesterday after Le Bon's 77-foot ocean racer, Drum, capsized in gale-force winds while competing in the prestigious Fastnet Yacht Race off southern England. No one was hurt . . .

Dennis McCarthy, a former U.S. Secret Service special agent who retired last year after 20 years of service, plans to kiss and tell in his forthcoming book, "Protecting the President," reports the current issue of Newsweek. Presidents rated the most popular with the agents are Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The least popular: Lyndon Johnson, who "treated us as if we were the hired help on his ranch, cursed at us regularly, and was a royal pain to deal with," says McCarthy . . .

Former astronaut and senator Harrison Schmitt, 49, and Theresa Fitzgibbon, 31, a self-employed professional fundraiser, announced their engagement Saturday in New Mexico. Schmitt walked on the moon in 1972 during the Apollo 17 flight, the last American space mission to the moon . . .

The cast from "The Iceman Cometh," currently playing at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater, held its opening party Saturday night at the Bristol Grill, complete with ice sculptures of broken Greek columns. Among those in attendance were "Iceman" lead Jason Robards, director Jose' Quintero, American National Theater Director Peter Sellars, Elizabeth Wilson, who costarred with " Robards in "You Can't Take It With You," New York agent Clifford Stevens, and William Petersen, who costars in the film "To Live and Die in L.A." with John Panko, who portrays Rocky, the bartender in "Iceman" . . . -- Mike McIntyre