Photo: Steve Holland/onEdition 2011

Broken leg and head injury in Clipper Round the World Race

Gold Coast Australia diverting to Taiwan for MediVac

Saturday February 18th 2012, Author: Heather Ewing, Location: none selected

Gold Coast Australia, one of the ten 68-foot yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, has diverted to Taiwan to evacuate a crew member who broke his leg in the gruelling conditions the amateur teams are currently enduring in the race from Singapore to Qingdao, China.

The high winds and heavy seas with waves of up to four metres made it impossible for the search and rescue helicopter and Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel dispatched to the scene to transfer the casualty from the yacht.

Round the world crew member, Tim Burgess, 31, from Petersham, NSW, Australia, was on the foredeck changing a headsail when broke his left leg above the knee.

Dutch entry, De Lage Landen, which was just eight miles from Gold Coast Australia when the incident happened, diverted to assist as they have two doctors among their international crew. The Race Office asked them to stay with the Australian yacht while plans for the medevac were put in place but they have now been released to resume racing.

As a precaution, Gold Coast Australia’s skipper, Richard Hewson, decided to evacuate a second round the world crew member, Nick Woodward, 55, from Birmingham, UK, after he sustained a head injury when he was thrown across the crew accommodation in the rough seas.

Both are now on their way to hospital, Tim and Nick’s families have been informed and the rest of the crew are safe.

The Race Director would like to thank the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres in Falmouth, UK, and Taiwan for their assistance.

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