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'I Stopped Breathing & Passed Out': Royal Cork's Johnny Durcan Recovering in Hospital After Capsize Accident at 29er Worlds

6th August 2017
The Irish 29er Team and training partners pictured in LA with Johnny, wearing trapeze harness, pictured third from right The Irish 29er Team and training partners pictured in LA with Johnny, wearing trapeze harness, pictured third from right Photo: via Facebook

Royal Cork's top youth sailor Johnny Durcan has been involved in a serious incident competing at the 29er world championships where he was trapped under his skiff dinghy during a capsize. The top Laser sailor is recovering in hospital in Los Angeles after he ended up 'getting stuck beneath the water'. 

Durcan has described the 'hectic end' to the championships on social media and relates how, after his '[trapeze] harness was caught, it led to 'drowning and total respiratory failure i.e. 'I stopped breathing and passed out'.

The Cork Harbour ace was one of two Irish 29ers competing at Long Beach, California, the other boat sailed by his twin brother Harry and Harry Whitaker, also of Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Durcan admits 'things were looking quite bad because I was under the water, unconscious for a while but thanks to the many sailors on the course who jumped out to help, I'm still here and kicking'.

It is understood, his 11–year–old helm Lola Kohl, from Christiansted, St Croix in the USA, raised the alarm and fellow competitors and coaches rushed to Durcan's assistance.

CPR was performed on the Irish youth champion. He was rushed ashore from the race course and an ambulance brought him to hospital immediately.

'My fellow competitors helped save me. And that's something that makes sailing the sport it is.' the Cork youth declared on Facebook, posting this photograph below from his hospital bed.

Parent's Yvonne and Tom Durcan were one of the first to post a comment online in response: 'One seriously relieved Mom and Dad xxxxxx'

29er USA Durcan hospitalJohnny Durcan surrounded by well–wishers is recovering in an LA Hospital after a serious capsize incident at the 29er Worlds at Long Beach, California Photo: Facebook

We wish Johnny a speedy recovery and the Irish 29er team a safe trip home – Ed.

Published in Youth Sailing
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