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Injured Tolkien abandons

British skipper injured in the Transat bakerly

Friday May 13th 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

British sailor Richard Tolkien, competing in The Transat bakerly abandoned his yacht and boarded the Cargo Ship Anton Topic at 21:40 GMT.

At 19:45, Race Control received a demand for assistance from Tolkien, skipper of the IMOCA 60, 44, at a position approximately 880 nautical miles WSW of Horta in the Azores.

Tolkien reported that he had been struggling with some major technical issues on his boat, including damage to the inner forestay. While he was on the foredeck trying to clear the sail, which was entangled in the rig, Tolkien was hit by one of the sails, sustaining an injury to his head.

After assessment by satellite phone with his shore crew, and with the Race Director and Race Doctor, and on liaising with the MRCC, a VHF call was made to the cargo ship Anton Topic, which was in the vicinity of Tolkien’s yacht. The decision was taken to abandon ship, on account of Tolkien’s injury and the daylight fading.

At 21:40 GMT, after an expert approach, the crew of the Anton Topic was able to execute the safe transfer of Tolkien from his yacht to the ship. The Anton Topic is heading to Philadelphia (USA), with an estimated time of arrival of 18 May.

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