Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Best wishes pour in for critical QC

Messages of support have continued to pour in for the Co Down barrister fighting for his life in Barbados after a freak sailing accident.

John Thompson, QC, who is in his late 50s, remains in a critical condition in hospital after sustaining head injuries when a large wave crashed into his yacht, Avocet.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, former North Down MP Robert McCartney, QC, aid his thoughts were with his fellow barrister at this difficult time.

"My best wishes for a successful recovery are with him," he said.

"John was my junior in a case that went to the House of Lords. We won and as is tradition for senior counsel in such circumstances, I bought him a red bag (to replace the blue one that juniors normally carry) to indicate that he had been to the House of Lords and won."

Concerns are growing for the well-known Bangor man, after a devastated relative told this newspaper: "The prognosis is bleak. The family is by his side and praying for him."

Throughout yesterday, close friends, yachting associates and work colleagues continued to send messages of hope to a website initially set up to track the boat's journey across the Atlantic.

"The Bar Library was a stunned place today as news of John's accident filtered through," read one, sent by Martin Wolfe.

"We are all with you, John, and we hope and pray that you are back amongst us soon."

Another, sent by Mr Thompson's grandson Jonny, read: "Be strong granda John, hang in there, I am praying for your recovery."

An entry was also logged the previous day by his eldest daughter Carly, thanking the scores of well-wishers for their support.

"Thanks guys, all your messages of hope, determination and bravery will hopefully help my dad in his time of need," the message read.

"I just want my daddy to come home - and as you have said, if anyone can, it's him."

Mr Thompson - the vessel's skipper - was knocked unconscious by a winch on the Avocet.

The accident happened off the coast of Barbados around tea-time last Friday as he was taking part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

Mr Thompson was taken aboard the cruise ship Costa Mediterranean, with his son, Dan, before being transferred to hospital on Monday.

His wife, Tina, and family members are keeping a vigil by his bedside.

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