Family searches for lost manuscript of round-world voyage

A MAJOR search has commenced to find a manuscript which details the amazing story of Limerick yachtsman Pat Lawless, who achieved a life long ambition of sailing around the world singlehanded at the age of 70.

It was his third attempt.

Mr Lawless died last month at the age of 84.

His first voyage almost ended in tragedy in 1992 when a rudder snapped as he was 1,200km west of Capetown. His boat was badly damaged by storm but Pat was rescued by a passing Norwegian freighter.

His second attempt in 1993 failed when he was blown across the Atlantic and he ended up in Brazil.

Undeterred, he set out again in 1993 and returned in triumph in 1996 having completed his ambition to circumnavigate the globe single-handed.

During his three voyages he kept a daily log. He had spent three months writing a book based on the log and he had arranged to have the handwitten manuscript typed.

His son Dan said: “He tried to get a publisher to take the book on. When none was forthcoming, he gave the typed script to various people to read it. Now in recent weeks a publisher has come forward, but we can’t find the original manuscript of the typed up copy. It is probably laying in a book shelf in some house as we do not know who he gave it to. If we can track it down we will be able to get it published and the proceeds will go to the lifeboat service.”

Mr Lawless said that during his three voyages his father wrote a detailed log every day.

“In it he set down his thoughts, his feelings. He detailed what he had to eat and drink, the whales he encountered. It was very detailed.”

After his final return in 1996, Pat Lawless went to Kilkee where he spent three months writing up his experiences.

Dan Lawless said: “He got a local secretarial service to type up his handwritten manuscript. But they do not have it on their computer hard drive as they changed their computers since typing up the book.”

Mr Lawless said it is likley somebody got the manuscript to read and may have forgotten they have it.

Mr Lawless said anybody with information about the handwritten or typed manuscripts should contact him at Lawless’s flower shop at Roches Street, Limerick, on 087-2259108.


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