Sailor swept overboard - Soundings Online

Sailor swept overboard

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NOV. 30 — David Jack didn’t even know what hit him.

A 42-year-old sailor from Kirkintilloch, Scotland, found himself swept into the Indian Ocean on Tuesday morning when a Force 6 gale — roughly 22 to 27 knots — knocked him from the bow of his 68-foot clipper, named Scotland with Style, on Wednesday, according to a report from The Scotsman.

Jack is a contender in the Clipper ’07-’08 Round the World Yacht Race, which is a 10-month, 35,000-mile course for sailors of any background that began Sept. 16 from Liverpool, England, and will end in the same spot July 5. There are 10 competing yachts, each representing a city from around the world, vying for the Clipper Trophy.

The crew of Scotland with Style raised the alarm immediately and hit the “man overboard” button, according to the vessel’s skipper, Hannah Jenner. They were about 600 nautical miles off the coast of South Africa when the incident occurred.

“We turned the boat around and slowly started to motor back. We were scanning the horizon with the searchlight and, amazingly, heard his voice calling to us,” Jenner told the Scotsman. “I put the boat right up next to him, which was pretty terrifying given the sea state, and [the crew] managed to pull him on board on top of a wave.”

Jenner received medical advice by radio from the Falmouth coast guard in the United Kingdom and Jack was treated for hypothermia and shock. He was only in the water nine minutes, according to the Scotsman.

Jack had been wearing a life jacket with an integral harness and had been clipped onto the boat with a safety line. How he fell overboard is being investigated at this time, according to a press release from race officials. Despite the mishap, Scotland in Style was still in the lead.

On the same day, Tony Peters, a 47-year-old crewmember of the American clipper, New York, was evacuated back to the United Kingdom for medical attention through the efforts of the South African and Falmouth coast guard, according to race officials. Peters was struck on the head due to a wave sweeping him across the cockpit, and will return to the states after medical treatment.

— Elizabeth Ellis