Irish sailor rescued after yacht damaged during Golden Globe Race

Dublin man Gregor McGuckin commended for actions of trying to help an injured rival

Dublin man Gregor McGuckin on his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands in June. Photograph: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR/PA Wire

Dublin man Gregor McGuckin on his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands in June. Photograph: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR/PA Wire

 

An Irish sailor has been rescued from the Indian Ocean after his yacht was damaged when he tried to help an injured rival during the Golden Globe Race.

Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy is safe on a French fishing vessel with Dublin man Gregor McGuckin, a spokesman for Mr McGuckin said.

The mast of Mr Tomy’s yacht Thuriya broke off when it was rolled in a storm on Friday, and the yachtsman suffered what he described as a “severe back injury”.

The 39-year-old Indian navy commander was “incapacitated on his bunk inside his boat” some 1,000 miles south west of Perth in western Australia, race organisers said.

Mr McGuckin was dismasted in the same storm.

In a statement issued on Monday, the rescue team said Mr McGuckin and Mr Tomy were onboard the French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris.

“The vessel initially rescued Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy who is reported to be conscious and talking. The vessel then sailed approximately 30 miles to safely evacuate Gregor McGuckin. McGuckin’s condition is good and has reported nothing more than bumps and bruises.

“In an incredible show of seamanship, the 32-year-old Irishman managed to build a jury rig and hand steer his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance for the past four days to within 30 miles of his fellow competitor in order to be on site to assist with the rescue if required.

“McGuckin did not declare an emergency for his own situation despite being rolled over and losing his mast. However, given the extremely remote location and the condition of his yacht, it was deemed the appropriate course of action to abandon his yacht under a controlled evacuation scenario as the opportunity arose. The considered move ensures in the event that his own situation deteriorated in any attempt to reach land in the coming weeks a second rescue mission would not be required.”

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Canberra reported that “Tomy is conscious, talking and onboard the Orisis”, according to the statement.

Mr McGuckin has been commended for his actions.

“Once the two solo yachtsmen are safely aboard the Osiris, the French fisheries patrol ship will proceed to Amsterdam Island where the rescued sailors will be given a full medical examination. The hospital on Amsterdam Island is well equipped with X-ray and ultrasound equipment.”

The 2018 Golden Globe Race departed Les Sables d’Olonne, France, on July 1st. Competitors are aiming to sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to the French port.–PA