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  #1  
Old 12-19-2008
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Vendee Globe rescue in the Southern Ocean

Stranded sailor 'can't reach morphine to ease pain' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Yann Elies holding firm as HMAS Arunta moves closer in rescue attempt - Times Online

Broken thigh bone, probable internal bleeding and no decent painkillers for 2-3 days. Sounds painful

He is a long way south, I assume around 45 degrees. Weather is a bit unsettled at the moment, mainly due to a cyclone in the north of the state.

Ilenart
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Old 12-19-2008
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and of course the media beatup has started over the cost of the rescue. The story in the local "West Australian" newspaper is headed LITTLE HOPE OF RECOVERING MILLIONS SPENT ON RESCUING INJURED SAILOR. It also refers to the attached blog.

blogs.thewest.com.au » Blog Archive » NEWS BLOG - Should the navy rescue French sailor?
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Old 12-20-2008
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This fellow is in a bad spot for sure... good on the Australian Navy for coming to his aid!

Amazingly two of his competitors have temporarily abandoned their race and are standing by to lend moral support during the wait. Quite the story.
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Old 12-20-2008
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Thanks for the post-- it is a remarkable story. Sam Davies is enroute to join, and Marc Guillemot is already there, but can't do much to help given the sea conditions.

I prefer the newswires at the Vendee Globe site:

Newswire : Rescue team expected this morning - Vendée Globe

Having a significant injury at sea is something I wouldn't like to have to handle, with with the right first aid courses and preparation.

Kudos and praise to the Australian Navy (the HMAS Arunta) for helping out. Perhaps those who talk about "costs" should also quote the costs of the routine Navy patrols and training exercises, and note how many of them lead to significant events.



The Wikipedia entry for the Arunta has already been updated to show the rescue attempt as part of its operational history:

HMAS Arunta (FFH 151 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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Last edited by Jim H; 12-20-2008 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 12-20-2008
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Arunta's crew, and the Australia navy, are probably very happy to have a real rescue (as opposing to a drill or a training exercise) to perform that doesn't involve getting shot at.

I can understand a relatively small population like Australia's carping about the fact that they rescue a lot of people in the surrounding waters some distance away from Australia proper, but they are the only game in town in that entire quadrant (New Zealand excepted). Neither India to the north or Polynesia to the east has the ability to rescue people in boats at this distance.

Bringing two Open 60s alongside each other in the open ocean would destroy both boats, I think, 9 times out of 10. There aren't enough fenders to compensate and the rigs would tangle immediately.
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Old 12-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
This fellow is in a bad spot for sure... good on the Australian Navy for coming to his aid!

Amazingly two of his competitors have temporarily abandoned their race and are standing by to lend moral support during the wait. Quite the story.
Not to diminish their efforts to help a fellow sailor, but, according to the Vendée site they will not be penalized for the time spent assisting. A jury will also evaluate the other competitors to give them credit for any delays that result from this incident.

Go Algimouss Spirit of Canada and Derek Hatfield!
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Old 12-20-2008
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Originally Posted by flyingwelshman View Post
Not to diminish their efforts to help a fellow sailor, but, according to the Vendée site they will not be penalized for the time spent assisting. A jury will also evaluate the other competitors to give them credit for any delays that result from this incident.

Go Algimouss Spirit of Canada and Derek Hatfield!
True, they will get credit for staying back.. but still that's a difficult thing to quantify in the scheme of the "race" itself. I find it compelling that more than one competitor is able to divert to his aid, however tenuous that aid might be in actuality, it's certainly got to be some moral support. I believe this sort of camaradarie between opponents is quite rare in the world of pro sports.

We've all heard the rants of the costs of rescue - but I agree with Val here that the Navy likely prefers an active assignment over mind-numbing drills. And setting the "ocean-singlehanding-is-dangerous-and-even-illegal" debate aside, these are not boats that set out with inexperienced skippers and poorly found vessels that have gotten themselves into predictable predicaments.

Hopefully a rescue will be affected successfully - this race has already had its share of drama and is turning into a bit of a demolition derby.

And indeed... go Derek go!
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Old 12-20-2008
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Stricken yachtsman rescued by navy - CNN.com

updated 8:01 a.m. EST, Sat December 20, 2008


Stricken yachtsman rescued by navy

(CNN) -- A French yachtsman badly injured during the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race was rescued Saturday by an Australian Navy ship around 1,400 kilometers (850 miles) south of Perth.
Yann Elies, pictured aboard the Generali at the start of the Vendee Global race.

Yann Elies, pictured aboard the Generali at the start of the Vendee Global race.

The frigate HMAS Arunta had been dispatched to rescue Yann Elies after he broke his left leg on Thursday when his boat, the Generali, slammed into a wave, knocking him into the deck.

He had managed to drag himself back into the 18-meter vessel's cabin but had been unable to reach any painkillers, food or water. Race officials had classed Elies as being in a life-threatening condition.

Two crew members transferred Elies aboard the Arunta earlier Saturday, according to the Vendee Globe Web site.

Fellow competitor Marc Guillemot, who monitored the rescue after changing course to check on Elies' condition and provide radio support, said the operation had been executed flawlessly.

"Some highly professional work. They prepared Yann for the transfer. Still heavy swell but they carried out maneuver perfectly. Yann is now aboard the frigate and has a doctor taking care of him," Guillemot reported.

"It was like a dream. It didn't seem real. They took care of that magnificently."

The Arunta's commanding officer, Commander Stephen Bowater said his crew has displayed exceptional professionalism during the operation to reach the French sailor.

"We have proven again that the Navy constantly maintains the ability to respond at short notice to emergency situations," Bowater said in an Australian Navy statement.

Elies is expected to be transferred to a military hospital in Perth, according to the race Web site. A crew from Team Generali was en route to Australia to sail his boat back to southern Australia.

The Vendee Global race, which takes place every four years, is one of the most grueling events in yachting, taking competitors around the tips of Africa, Australia and South America without any stopovers.

Thirty boats started the latest edition last month from the French port of Les Sables d'Olonne but 12 have already abandoned the race.
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Old 12-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
True, they will get credit for staying back.. but still that's a difficult thing to quantify in the scheme of the "race" itself. I find it compelling that more than one competitor is able to divert to his aid, however tenuous that aid might be in actuality, it's certainly got to be some moral support. I believe this sort of camaradarie between opponents is quite rare in the world of pro sports.

We've all heard the rants of the costs of rescue - but I agree with Val here that the Navy likely prefers an active assignment over mind-numbing drills. And setting the "ocean-singlehanding-is-dangerous-and-even-illegal" debate aside, these are not boats that set out with inexperienced skippers and poorly found vessels that have gotten themselves into predictable predicaments.

Hopefully a rescue will be affected successfully - this race has already had its share of drama and is turning into a bit of a demolition derby.

And indeed... go Derek go!
No doubt there is a history of these fierce competitors risking everything - not just the race - to help each other. Soldini rescued Autissier in the Around Alone in 1998/1999 (&, I think, went on to win the race!) and Peter Goss was issued the Légion d’Honneur for his rescue of Dinelli in the 1996 Vendée Globe race. (the Dinelli rescue is described in chilling detail in Godforsaken Sea.)
Not to mention our own Derek Hatfield getting into trouble in the 2002 Around Alone, in which Alan Paris slowed down to be ready to assist Hatfield - even before Hatfield was dismasted.
I hope that my previous post was not taken as a slam at the other sailors.
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Old 12-21-2008
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Interesting what they did with Generali, they left it sailing north(unmanned) under minimal sail while a crew from the team is flying to Australia, going to take a motor launch out to the boat, then sail it back.
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