Injured Yacht Crew Rescued Off California Coast during Around-the-World Race - News - @ JEMS.com


Injured Yacht Crew Rescued Off California Coast during Around-the-World Race

Coast Guard cutter reached the battered yacht 200 miles off the coast.

 

 
 
 

| Monday, April 2, 2012


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two injured British sailors who were rescued from a yacht hit by a monster wave while participating in an around-the-world race were expected to reach San Francisco Bay on U.S. Coast Guard cutter Monday afternoon.

A rescue boat reached the battered yacht Sunday about 200 miles off the California coast and transported the sailors to the cutter, Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield said.

The sailors were being treated aboard the cutter and will receive additional medical aid when the vessel reaches the bay, said DeeDee Taft, a spokeswoman for the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

The injured were Jane Hitchens, 50, a doctor from Kent, England, who may have suffered broken ribs; and Nik Brbora, 29, a software engineer from London who may have suffered a sprained pelvis, Taft said.

The nearly 70-foot Geraldton Western Australia was hit by a huge wave Saturday when it was about 400 miles from a finish line in San Francisco Bay, knocking out its steering mounting.

"We were making good speed, sailing with the third reef in the main, surfing at 15 to 20 knots," said Juan Coetzer, skipper of the yacht. "Then ... just before the sun came up, a monstrous foaming swell broke over our stern."

The sea was so rough on Saturday that rescuers couldn't parachute down to the yacht and rescue the injured sailors. The Coast Guard was only able to drop medical supplies until the cutter arrived to assist the crew.

Thirteen people were aboard the yacht. Two others who suffered minor injuries decided to continue sailing, Taft said. Max Wilson, 62, a farmer from Queensland, Australia, who also have suffered broken ribs, and Mark Burkes, 47, who was on the helm at the time of the incident, sustained a back injury.

The crew was expected to arrive in Oakland's Jack London Square on Monday.

The crew planned to fix the yacht and continue two more legs of the race, which began in Southhampton in England and will finish there July 22 after nearly a year at sea. The Geraldton Western Australia is among 10 identical yachts participating in the race.

The boats departed Qingdao, China, about a month ago for the 5,680-mile trek across the Pacific, the longest leg of the race.

The first boat arrived Friday at Jack London Square in Oakland, where the entire fleet is expected to stay until April 14 to make repairs, restock, rest and take part in a sailboat show before embarking for Panama.

Rich Gould of Swindon, England, who was aboard a competing yacht, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the rough sea swayed his boat along the waves "like a surfboard."

He said news of his competitors' injuries was a "harsh reminder that sailing in seas like this can be a hell of a challenge."

"It's quite sobering," Gould said.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, water rescues, Coast Guard, boat

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tempe’s Drug Dilemma

Dealing with overdoses.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

I’m a Paramedic

Profile of a Northshore LIJ medic.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Riding with Busy Welsh Ambulances

EMS crews struggle under mounting pressures.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Albuquerque Unveils New Rescue Unit

Mayor and residents celebrate new ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Cincinnati Overpass Collapse

Fatal pancake collapse occurs during demolition.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >