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Monday, November 9, 2009

From Pete

Hi, Its Pete here this time. I've tried to write a few times this trip but for whatever reason it hasn't happened. My last attempt was about 6 hours ago when after about 5 lines of text the blue screen of death appeared.
We had an email a few days ago from an old mate Allan Fenwick who sails an S&S 34 called Morning Tide. Over the last 5 or more years he and my eldest daughter Sarah sail to Lord Howe Island about 2 weeks after the finish of the Sydney to Lord Howe Island yacht race. Sometimes they make it there sometimes they don't. Anyone who has done the LHI race will tell that this is one of the most spectacular places to finish a race and because of this there are a lot of ex racers who love the place but don't want the hassle of racing there. The solution The Lord Howe Island Cruise. A date is set for all to meet at Ned's Beach on the North side of the island for a barbeque. A lot of the old racing boats make the trip, the crew are a generous lot and money is raised for the local primary school.
A few days ago Morning Tide left Lake Macquarie about 40 miles north of Sydney heading for the island, on board were Allan Sarah and a friend of hers Jonathan. They were about 15 miles offshore when Allan saw an orange smoke flare set off from a large ship about a mile away. They altered course dropped the sails and motored towards the ship. After while they located a crewman in the water. Allan had attended one of Alex's Safety and Sea Survival courses years ago and he said that's when the information learned there kicked in. He had a MOB rescue sling on the back of the boat, it has about 50 mts. of floating line with a buoyant sling at the end. This was thrown off the stern and Allan motored in circles around the crewman till he could grab the line and get the sling under his arms. Sarah and Jon pulled the line in and heaved the man on board.
They got him below wrapped him in a Sea Rug, gave him some warm tea with sugar and Sarah talked to him to make sure he stayed conscious. Allan contacted the water police and then headed for Newcastle. Off the harbour entrance the water police met them and put a paramedic on board. Morning Tide continued up the river to a jetty where an ambulance was waiting for them.
The crewman had chest and back injuries from his 20 metre fall to the water and was suffering from shock and hypothermia.
Well, what can I say hats off to the three of you bloody well done. You have probably saved the man's life its something not many people get to do and for that reason you are now special.
Al I'm not sure but I guess the cruise is off for this year, maybe next year we can get Zoe, Berri and the S&S over there.
Best wishes Pete.