Today's fourth race of the DBSC Turkey Shoot Series on Dublin Bay had a man overboard incident where a sailor was successfully rescued from the water by a competing boat. Here, Martin Byrne, a former Edinburgh Cup Dragon Champion, tells how he fell overboard from his 1720 Sportsboat 'Nick of Time' and was successfully recovered by Tim Goodbody's J109 White Mischief crew.
I was helming the 1720 A Stitch in Time. We were on the run on the second round of the race. After planing down an especially big wave the boat heeled to windward and as we were all positioned well aft I lost my balance and with nothing to hold onto and I fell overboard.
My immediate thought was that I very grateful for my lifejacket and knew that I would be able to tread water until someone picked me up. However, this took a lot longer than I expected. My own boat were in difficulties as they struggled to get the spinnaker down and sail back to retrieve me. It was then that Tim & Richard Goodbody on the J109 White Mischief noticed that I was in trouble as I hailed them for assistance.
"I lost my balance and with nothing to hold onto and I fell overboard"
I was very cold by this stage and as the waves were breaking over me I began to swallow a lot of seawater. White Mischief was dropping all their sails and preparing to pick me up. It was difficult for me to swim with a full set of winter sailing gear on and I was beginning to get very tired. Eventually, they manoeuvred astern towards me and because of the very low overhang at the back of the J109 they were easily able to pull me aboard.
So no lasting damage but extremely grateful for the quick thinking, good seamanship and selfless action by the crew of White Mischief.