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Regatta sailor with SAR training turns rescuer

A champion Laser sailor and Olympic hopeful who is also a third-class Merchant Marine officer put the knowledge he learned at Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy to good use in making a middle-of-the-night rescue of a kiteboarder in trouble offshore.

Last week, Canadian David Wright, a former North American champion in the Laser class, was training at the International Sailing Academy in La Cruz, Mexico. Like other top North American competitors at the academy, Wright was kept from flying to the French Olympic Regatta in Hyeres because of the volcano eruption in Iceland.

When a kiteboarder was reported missing in the Gulf of Mexico around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Wright's being in the right place at the right time proved fortuitous.

Boarding a RIB, Wright and the kiteboarder's partner headed offshore, where Wright put his training to use, gauging the wind and current and then initiating a five-mile-square grid search.

Click here to read the full account on fellow sailor John Bertrand's blog.