Ocean rescue honour for NI Clipper skipper

Round the World Yacht Race Northern Irish entry Derry-Londonderry-Doire skipper Sean McCarter
Round the World Yacht Race Northern Irish entry Derry-Londonderry-Doire skipper Sean McCarter

A yachting skipper whose actions saved his colleague from danger is to be honoured by a US sports group.

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has praised Sean McCarter, captain of Derry-Londonderry-Doire – Northern Ireland’s 2013/14 entry into the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

He is to be given the Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship in recognition of “the way he directed his crew during a dramatic man overboard rescue in the harsh northern Pacific Ocean”, according to a statement from Clipper Ventures, which runs the race.

The trophy is awarded annually for an act which contributes to safety.

In this case, crew member Andrew Taylor, 46, went overboard in the middle of a storm about halfway through the 5,600 mile race in March.

He was recovered after 90 minutes in the amid “low visibility, high winds and mountainous seas”

He made a full recovery after initial hypothermia and continued to complete the circumnavigation.

Clipper Race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Sean’s determination to recover Andrew motivated the crew and it is fair to say that had Sean not shown outstanding leadership Andrew might not be with us today.”