FOLLOWING Derry-Londonderry~Doire’s dramatic North Pacific rescue operation yesterday, Clipper Race round the world crew member Andrew Taylor is making a good recovery, with Skipper Sean McCarter explaining:
“Andrew is in good spirits and has been chatting away with his crew, and whilst clearly shocked, he is quite happy to be alive I think!
“He was quite concerned yesterday that we might divert to drop him off. I told him not to worry, that there was nowhere to drop him off to. I was joking obviously, as even out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we always options available to us if he was in real danger, but it’s a great sign that he is getting better and in a good state of mind.
“Andrew is receiving medication and is under the excellent care of our paramedic crew member, Susie Redhouse, who will continue to monitor him closely over the next 24 hours.
“We expect him to stay in his bunk to rest for the next day. Gladly, his leg doesn’t seem to be giving him as much pain so hopefully it is not as serious as we thought to begin with and is just an impact injury from where he hit the starboard rudder that will quickly heal.”
In a report just received from the boat, Sean McCarter has provided further detail on the incident during Race 10, China to San Francisco, as he said: “After a dramatic day yesterday I am both happy and relieved to report that all the crew are healthy and in good spirits.
“The crew reacted perfectly, nobody panicked, everyone went through the procedures that we practice religiously in Clipper Race training. The MOB button was pressed giving us the position on the electronic chart plotter, the engine was started, boat checked for ropes in the water and staysail dropped all within minutes.
“There are three main factors that contributed to Andrew’s survival. First was the rigorous training that both skipper and crew go through with the Clipper Race in the UK before starting the race.
“Everyone knew exactly what had to be done and went about it in a calm and controlled manner. Second was Andrew’s Henri Lloyd drysuit, without which he could not have survived for what ended up being 1 hour 40 minutes in the cold water of the North Pacific. Finally his Personal Locator Beacon, without which the already long search would have taken a lot longer.”
Following what has been learnt so far about the incident, Clipper Race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has sent a personal message to the boats to remind them of their safety training, in which he stated: “This is a reminder of two basic points from your training.
Always clip on, and check that you are clipped on by pulling on the tether to ensure it is fast before going further…Human life is far too precious to be thrown away by a moment’s forgetfulness.“Sail safely, and please stay aboard!”
Derry~Londonderry~Doire and the rest of the 12-strong fleet is due into San Francisco on April 11.