Northern Ireland

Derry-Londonderry skipper honoured for dramatic sea rescue

Andrew Taylor Image copyright Clipper Ventures
Image caption Andrew Taylor was in the water for 90 minutes before being rescued

The skipper of the Derry-Londonderry yacht has won an award for helping to save one of his crew who fell overboard during a round the world race.

Sean McCarter, who is from Derry, captained the yacht in the 2013-14 Clipper Round the World Race, and led the dramatic sea rescue.

Crewman Andrew Taylor fell overboard into the Pacific Ocean in March 2014 and was swept away by high winds.

Mr McCarter has been given an award in New York for "outstanding seamanship".

Stormy seas

The skipper was working with Mr Taylor on a sail change near the bow of the yacht, on a leg of the race between China and the US, when the crewman went over the side.

Mr McCarter immediately went back to the helm, stopped the yacht and initiated the man overboard procedure.

Image copyright Clipper Ventures Plc
Image caption Skipper Sean McCarter and Commodore Tad Lhamon at the New York Yacht Club, holding the smaller version of the Rod Stephens Award that the Derryman gets to keep

The rescue was caught on camera and was reported by ABC America at the time.

Mr Taylor, who is from London, struggled to stay afloat in very stormy seas for about 90 minutes, as the crew tried to keep visual contact with him, before managing to get him back on board.

The crewman was treated for shock and hypothermia after his ordeal.

Image copyright Clipper Ventures
Image caption The boat's crew used a man overboard procedure to rescue Mr Taylor

On Friday night, Mr McCarter was presented with the Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship at the New York Yacht Club.

The trophy is a large brass telescope, which will stay in the New York Yacht Club, but Mr McCarter was given a smaller version of the award that he gets to keep.

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