Belfast Telegraph

‘Heroic’ Irish sailor to be reunited with family in Australia

Gregor McGuckin has been praised for attempting to rescue a competitor who was in distress.

Gregor McGuckin on his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands (Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR/PA)
Gregor McGuckin on his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands (Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR/PA)

‘Heroic’ Irish sailor Gregor McGuckin, who was attempting to save an injured fellow competitor when his boat capsized, will set off for Australia on Thursday to be reunited with his family.

A French fisheries patrol boat Osiris rescued injured Indian Abhilash Tomy, 39, and Dublin man Mr McGuckin, 32, late on Monday after their boats lost masts in a storm last Friday, almost 2,000 miles south west of Perth in western Australia, while competing in the around-the-world Golden Globe Race.

The two men were taken to Amsterdam Island where they were given a full medical examination.

Sponsors of Mr McGuckin released a statement on Wednesday hailing the heroic Irishman.

‘’We are pleased to confirm that Gregor and Abhilash Tomy are currently safe on Ile Amsterdam.

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Abhilash Tomy on his yacht Thuriya (Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR/PA)

“Gregor is in good health and Abhilash is being looked after by medical professionals.

“We understand that Gregor’s yacht, the Hanley Energy Endurance, was dismasted in a storm while attempting to reach his fellow competitor Abhilash Tomy, who had sustained injuries after being capsized.

“In a remarkable display of seamanship, courage and fortitude, Gregor managed to build a jury rig and hand steer the Hanley Energy Endurance within 30 miles of Abhilash’s yacht for four days in order to be on site to assist with the rescue.

“Hanley Energy would like to commend Gregor on his outstanding and heroic efforts to come to the aid of his fellow competitor.

“He is truly an inspiration, and our priority now is to ensure his safe return to Ireland.”

It is understood Mr McGuckin also removed all debris from the deck of his boat, secured all equipment on board and ensured the small amount of fuel on board was not at risk of leaking.

The Australian naval vessel HMAS Balarat is due to transport Mr McGuckin to Perth, arriving around October 2 where he will be met by his family where they will spend some time together before they return to Ireland.

The sponsors thanked everyone on the island, and all involved in the rescue operation for their extraordinary generosity, hospitality, and professionalism.

PA

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