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Rescue in the Clipper Round the World Race

Nov 29, 2007 Some recent exciting happenings on the current leg of the ’07-’08 Clipper Round the World Race.

From the press release: Today began with the news that Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper had safely recovered a crew member who was swept overboard during a headsail change overnight. The skipper Hannah Jenner informed the Race Office in the early hours of the morning that a 42-year-old male crew member had been recovered safely and uninjured after being swept overboard from the bow during a headsail change. She reported the incident happened in force 5-6 winds more than 600 nautical miles off the coast of South Africa.

The crew member was following safety procedures and was wearing a life jacket with an integral harness and was clipped onto the boat with a safety line at the time of the incident. The precise circumstances in which he went overboard are being investigated at present and further details will be issued in due course.

Clipper Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said, “Thanks to our comprehensive Clipper Training, the crew member was recovered from the water in just nine minutes in very difficult conditions. Hannah and her crew demonstrated excellent seamanship throughout the incident and I would like to congratulate them on the professional and swift manner in which they dealt with the situation.”

The crew reacted quickly to the incident and immediately pressed the Man Overboard button on the GPS system to mark on the chart the position at which he was swept into the sea. The yacht’s engine was started in order to recover the crew member and he was brought onboard after just nine minutes in the water. As soon as he was back onboard, he received immediate medical attention from the boat medic, a general surgeon when not racing with Clipper 07-08, who is a member of the crew of Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper. The crew member was treated for signs of hypothermia and for shock but no other injuries. Hannah received medical advice via Falmouth Coastguard and is continuing to monitor the crew member’s condition. All the other crew onboard are safe and well.

Also safe and well is New York crew member Tony Peters whose medical evacuation took place successfully at 18:35 GMT yesterday. The NSRI Durban Sea Rescue vessel Eikos Rescuer II took Tony to the NSRI base where a Netcare 911 ambulance was waiting to take him to hospital. Following treatment for his head injuries and a broken nose Tony is flying back to the UK this evening and hopes to rejoin New York in Fremantle.

Joff Bailey, Race Director: “With their casualty safely dropped off in Durban the New York team can now focus on trying to claw back the miles lost over the last few days. If Duggie and his team manage to get back into the pack it will be a bigger comeback than Hull & Humber in the last race.”

Despite their man overboard incident last night Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper continues to be in the lead pack and has been racing hard with Hull & Humber and Nova Scotia for the past three days. Both Hull & Humber and Nova Scotia went to assist Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper last night and rendezvoused in order to transfer medical supplies following the MOB incident. All the boats are racing hard again and their response shows that although the teams are fiercely competitive they will stop and help each other if required and follow one of the age old traditions of mariners.
Their positions at the moment indicate that they are choosing to sail the great circle route and not take advantage of the stronger prevailing winds that are often found further south. Liverpool 08 is also remaining more northerly and had moved into the lead at the 18:00 schedule, an indication that the MOB situation had affected the 12-hourly runs of Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper and the assisting boats.

Meanwhile Durban 2010 and Beyond, Qingdao, Uniquely Singapore and westernaustralia2011.com all appear to be trying to get into the ‘roaring forties’ as quickly as possible. The skipper of Durban 2010 and Beyond, Ricky Chalmers, indicated surprise this morning when he realised that the front-runners were not joining them on their southerly course. “I cannot believe the lead pack are not pushing further south,” said Ricky.

Joff Bailey, Race Director. “The boats are all very close at the moment. However, things should start to split up over this weekend as the teams get influenced by the high pressure system in the area. By next Monday we will know whether going north or south has paid off.”