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En Route from Antigua to UK: Skipper of Missing Catamaran "Gutted" to be Rescued

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 13, 2012 02:52 PM

Published: 2012-06-13 14:52:16
Topics: Safety and Medical
Countries: Antigua & Barbuda , United Kingdom

As reported by BBC News

Skipper of missing Orinoco Flo "gutted" to be rescued

The skipper of a catamaran which disappeared for more than a week during a transatlantic race said he was "gutted" to have been rescued.

Matthew Gill's yacht Orinoco Flo was spotted by a rescue helicopter about 85 miles (137km) off the Isles of Scilly on Monday. En route to Falmouth from Antigua, the missing yacht had been out of radio contact since 2 June.

Mr Gill told BBC News: "I had no chance of dying, I was going to make it home."

The single-handed skipper of the yacht lost his mast in bad weather about 850 miles (1,367km) out in the Atlantic. He said: "I only had 80 miles left to go; so I was so, so close to doing it all under my own steam. When the helicopter turned up, I thought, "who the hell has called a helicopter for me? I didn't".

"I had no chance of dying, I was making reasonable progress, incredibly slow, but I was going to make it home.

"It was only a question of taking a long time."

The stricken skipper had to wait for two days for the sea to calm down before retrieving the fallen mast. As he set off using a jury rig, a starboard shroud parted, the tiller bar broke and he lost his auto-pilot.

By the time the lifeboat arrived, Mr Gill said he had been cooking over a candle for several days, adding that the trip had been a "comedy of errors."

Read the rest of this article at www.bbc.co.uk.

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