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MAN OVERBOARD IN CLIPPER RACE

Saturday November 14th, 2009
ImageA 51 year-old man fell overboard in the South Atlantic 1,400 miles from Cape Town. Arthur Bowers was making his way towards the main companion of the Clipper Race Yacht, Hull and Humber when the boat was hit by a huge wave, which knocked him over and washed him off the deck. Arthur had just unclipped his safety line to go down the steps into the saloon but his lifejacket inflated as he entered the water. The crew was very quick to react and had him back on board in 17 minutes. He was checked for signs of hypothermia and shock but had sustained no other injuries.
Skipper Piers Dudin said, 'Bex (Rebecca Mayman, 19) was pointing at Arthur's position. After heaving to, we released the preventer line and centered the main and dropped the Yankee 3 and staysail. We started the engine and motored back upwind to him - at this time we were about 150metres away.

'Jeremy (Reed, 54) put on the harness while the rest of the watch prepared the halyard to allow him to be lowered over the side to reach Arthur. During this time we circled Arthur twice and on the third lap came up close to him on the starboard side. We didn't reach him on the first attempt.

'I stationed Hull & Humber with Jeremy low in the water next to Arthur. On the fourth lap we lowered Jeremy to him and he attached a staysail halyard to Arthur's lifejacket and both were hauled up. Arthur held onto the helistrop and supported himself as he was hoisted.

'He walked himself back to the cockpit and walked below to get out of his wet gear. Charlie (Charlotte Mulliner, 21) had prepared a sleeping bag for him in the saloon.'
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