A British sailor was rescued from the Pacific Ocean after he felt overboard during the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. Andrew Taylor, 46-year-old crew member of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, felt early in the morning on March 30 and stayed in the water for almost two hours (from 00:43 BST to 2:13 BST).
The incident happened on day 14 of Race 10 in the 16 stage of the race in rough weather with clear visibility and wind of 35 knots.
Andrew Taylor was working together with Sean McCarter, 32-year-old professional skipper, on a sail change near the bow when he felt overboard. The yacht was stopped for man overboard procedure. The director of the race, Justin Taylor, explained the man overboard (MOB) procedure:
"In these conditions a man overboard is swept away from the boat very quickly and visual contact can be lost in the swell. We have a well-rehearsed procedure to mark the position, stop racing and engaged the engine to search for and recover the crew member as quickly as possible. An hour and a half is a very long time to be in the water in these conditions but a combination of his sea survival training and seven months at sea as well as wearing a life jacket and dry suit will have contributed enormously to his survival."
After Andrew Taylor had been recovered, he was taken below deck and treated by onboard medic, Susie Redhouse. The 46-year-old sailor suffered shock and hypothermia.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire got assistance from a competing team onboard OneDLL yacht. Currently, both boats are in the racing.
The incident is the fourth one when someone has had to be recovered from the water in the 18-year history of Clipper Race. Fundamental practice of the Clipper Race is sea safety. A "must" for each crew member before joining a boat is completing an extensive sea safety training course in four stages.
Stage 10 (of 16) is the Pacific leg between China and the United States. It is expected to finish on April 11 under the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Clipper Race started on September 1, 2013 from London and ends on July 12, 2014 at St Katharine Docks (next to Tower Bridge).
Here is a video taken on board Derry~Londonderry~Doire during the dramatic rescue of Andrew Taylor.