sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Dangerous rescue brings more awards for three
Dangerous rescue brings more awards for three

'Lowe Corporation Rescue helicopter had just 20 minutes of fuel left when it landed after the rescue'    .

As cruising sailors it is all too easy to take for granted that the rescue authorities will be there when we need them but the harrowing stories of dangerous rescues are just what we need to be humbled by their contribution. A civilian medal has been awarded to three men at the core of a daring and dangerous rescue in New Zealand.

The three, senior winchman Geoff Taylor, St John Ambulance advanced paramedic Stephen Smith and pilot Dean Herrick, who were awarded the Royal Humane Society's Silver Medal, had already been presented with the New Zealand Search and Rescue Council's top honour for bravery - the Gold Award. Read their story:


Modest heroes: Senior winchman Geoff Taylor, St John Ambulance advanced paramedic Stephen Smith and pilot Dean Herrick -  .. .  
The call-out on October 11 was one Mr Smith said he would never forget, and the most challenging he had been involved in.

Wellington yachtie George Horgan, 63, called for help after the sails of his nine-metre yacht were blown out and the engine had failed - about 50 nautical miles out from the cape.

'The yacht was thrashing about in rough seas,' Mr Smith told local publication Hawke's Bay Today. He was winched down into 5m swells and 35-knot winds to rescue Mr Horgan, but the conditions and the sailor's reluctance to leave the yacht to get into a better position to be rescued, away from the swaying mast, made it treacherous.

The award citation stated:

Mr Smith had been lowered into the water and reached the boat, but getting the yachtsman into the desired position away from his boat proved to be extremely difficult. He was finally able to get the yachtsman into the harness.

Complications which followed resulted in the winch line with Mr Smith and the yachtsman attached to it becoming entangled with a rope linking a life raft to the boat. It took great skill on the part of all three crew members to free the winch line.

Mr Smith, in the water, was being repeatedly battered by the sea and against the yacht. Meanwhile, to compound their problems, the yachtsman endeavoured to climb back onto the boat, became entangled, and fell out of the harness into the water. He could not be seen. The crew believed he had been lost.

Physically spent and gasping for breath Mr Smith was winched back to the helicopter.

The yachtsman resurfaced some distance away and was seen by the pilot, Dean Herrick.

Despite his condition Mr Smith went back into the water again. After being frequently submerged he managed to reach the yachtsman and place him in the strop, bear-hugging him to prevent him slipping out again. They were then winched back to the helicopter. The man was unconscious, and a dead weight, requiring Mr Smith and Mr Taylor to use all their strength to get him on board.

Once inside, Stephen Smith was completely exhausted, he could barely speak and was vomiting sea water.

He required hospital treatment for secondary drowning. He had sustained a black eye and bruising to his neck, arms and shoulders.

By the time the helicopter had landed safely at the Hawke's Bay Hospital, with only approximately 20 minutes of reserve fuel remaining, the operation had taken approximately two hours, including the one-hour winch rescue on location.

All three involved took the same stance as winchman Mr Taylor, who recognised the situation they were placing themselves in. 'It's just part of the job,' he said.

Mr Smith said while he had not had contact with Mr Horgan he had met family members who had told him how 'deeply grateful' they were for what he, Mr Taylor and Mr Herrick had done.

My take on this account, apart from being impressed and grateful for the heroic actions of the three men, is that if you ever have to be winched to a helicopter, prepare yourself to jump away from the yacht so as not to further endanger yourself and your rescuers.


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=102259

9:36 AM Sun 23 Sep 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
EPIRB's and rescues

Related News Stories:

01 Sep 2012  Dismasted yacht with no EPIRB waits 10 hours for rescue
19 Aug 2012  Hopes faded for missing WA sailor
17 Aug 2012  Search underway in WA for missing sailor
04 Aug 2012  EPIRB proves its worth in sudden capsize- seven French sailors rescued
09 Jul 2012  What does it feel like to lose your boat? Tearful skipper tells
27 Jun 2012  Norwegian Star to the rescue of six sailors
16 Jun 2012  Search underway for two - English and Australian - shipwrecked sailors
13 Jun 2012  Cool 'missing' skipper found with jury-rigged sail
11 Jun 2012  Sailors rescued by Japanese bulk carrier
04 Jun 2012  Two solo sailors lose their boats in Queensland incidents
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World











America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ












Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US