A yacht overturned at Whitehead Regatta on Saturday afternoon [July 30] and the three occupants were rescued with difficulty.
Shortly before four o’clock, the boats on the handicap “Shadow” class were getting into position for the start, when one of them, the Lapwing, of Carrickfergus, overturned in a squall, the three occupants being thrown into the rough sea. They were Thomas Beattie, aged 67, of Green Street, Carrickfergus; his son Jack, owner of the boat; and Harry McFall, of Taylor’s Row, Carrickfergus.
The elder Beattie and McFall had to struggle for their lives, while young Beattie was able to keep his head above water by standing on the gunwale of the boat.
James Cameron, of Islandmagee, the club boatman, who had spent several hours in the tiring work of ferrying the crews to their craft in a dinghy, immediately rowed out to the scene of the mishap when the alarm was given. All the time Jack Beattie was signalling for the other men to be picked up first, as he was all right.
Cameron reached Thomas Beattie, who was in a very bad way, and held his head out of the water until more help arrived. McFall was able to clutch the opposite gunwale of the dinghy.
Another boat came along, with Alex and Herbert Houston aboard. The former boarded Cameron’s dinghy and helped to drag the men to safety. Shortly afterwards the motor boat Faith picked up the younger Beattie.
Thomas Beattie was carried from the jetty to the clubhouse, where artificial respiration was applied successfully. He was removed to Larne District Hospital suffering from shock, but the other men appeared none the worse for their experience.
The sunken boat was brought ashore as the tide receded.
On inquiry at the hospital last night, it was learned that Beattie was “quite comfortable”.