Irish sailor arrives into Perth 10 days after being rescued from Indian Ocean

Irish sailor arrives into Perth 10 days after being rescued from Indian Ocean

Irish sailor, Gregor McGuckin, who was competing in this year's Golden Globe Race has arrived in Australia 10 days after a storm struck his vessel in the Indian Ocean.

His yacht was rolled 360 degrees causing irreversible damage to his mast.

After he stabilised his vessel, McGuckin answered a distress call from a fellow race competitor Indian sailor, Abhilash Tomy.

He managed to build a jury rig and after four days of sailing managed to help the French vessel, FPV Osiris, rescue Tomy. The French vessel also evacuated Gregor from his yacht to prevent the need for a second rescue mission.

McGuckin was brought into Rockingham in Perth, Western Australia, today aboard the Australian naval vessel HMAS Ballarat.

The 32-year-old from Goatstown in Dublin was trying to be the first Irish man ever to complete the 30,000-mile race around the globe.

McGuckin told media in Perth: "While Australia was never my intended final port, I couldn't be happier and more grateful right now. My journey started some 92 days ago, when I departed France on the Hanley Energy Endurance in an attempt to sail alone non-stop around the world.

"In a horrendous storm, my yacht was capsized and dismasted as was my competitor Abhilash Tomy's yacht. I was uninjured and was planning to sail to safety, however, Abhilash was not so lucky.

Irish sailor arrives into Perth 10 days after being rescued from Indian Ocean

"He suffered a back injury and was in immediate danger so I built a jury rig and set a course for his location. Thankfully, we were both picked up and Abhilash is now recovering.

The Dubliner thanked his rescuers who he described as "the real heroes".

He said: "All services were tested to their limits and excelled. The international cooperation between Australia, France, and India has proven that no matter how remote, there is always cover and the investment in naval assets and training paid off.

"I understand the Ballarat crew had returned early from leave and I pass on my deep gratitude to them and their families for their dedication to duty."

Irish sailor arrives into Perth 10 days after being rescued from Indian Ocean

McGuckin said his thoughts are with his fellow competitors in the Golden Globe Race.

He said: "My incident merely underpins the challenges they face and I am sure we would all wish the remaining boats a safe passage until the race completes next year. I would also like to thank Don McIntyre and his team for their support.

"Right now I want to spend time with my family and take some time. I will reflect on my experience and address all matters and questions at great length in due course. Thanks again to all involved. I will forever be indebted for your efforts."

Gregor intends to rest in Perth with the support of his loved ones before returning to Ireland.


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