Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rambler Capsizes During Fastnet

The keel loss and subsequent capsize of George David’s maxi Rambler 100 during the Rolex Fastnet Race occurred shortly after they rounded the Rock at 17:25 BST yesterday.
 Rambler capsized Photo; Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
“We were beating into big seas, launching Rambler off the top of full-size waves. I was down below with navigator Peter Isler when we heard the sickening sound of the keel breaking off. It was instantaneous; there was no time to react. The boat turned turtle, just like a dinghy capsizing. Peter Isler issued a Mayday and we got out of there as quickly as we could.” said Project Manager, Mick Harvey, who was on board at the time.
Rambler Photo: Daniel Forster/Rolex
The crew on deck managed to clamber over the lifelines onto the upturned hull and assist those that were thrown into the water. However the swell made it difficult for all the crew to get out and five, including skipper George David and partner Wendy Touton, were swept away and out of reach. This group linked arms, formed a circle and were in the water for two and a half hours. Fortunately the Coastguard diverted a local fishing boat to assist, who winched the remaining crew on board. 

Wendy Touton, suffering from hypothermia, was airlifted to hospital for medical attention. The remaining four were taken to Baltimore Harbour where they were re-united with the 16 crew members who had been rescued from the upturned hull of Rambler100 by the Baltimore Lifeboat.
As of 1200 BST, 12 boats have finished the race; approximately 275 were still racing, and 27 have retired.

Lulu Roseman

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