Irish sailor ‘overwhelmed’ by support after Indian Ocean rescue
Gregor McGuckin was attempting to save an injured fellow competitor in the around-the-world Golden Globe Race.
“Heroic” Irish sailor Gregor McGuckin has said he is overwhelmed by the support he has received after being rescued from the Indian Ocean.
Mr McGuckin, who was attempting to save an injured fellow competitor when his boat capsized, is in Perth, Australia, where he was reunited with his family.
A French fisheries patrol boat rescued injured Indian Abhilash Tomy, 39, and Dublin man Mr McGuckin, 32, last month after their boats lost masts in a storm, almost 2,000 miles south west of Perth in western Australia, while competing in the around-the-world Golden Globe Race.
I'm trying to get to grips with what happened, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, the last few weeks Gregor McGuckin
The two men were taken to Amsterdam Island where they were given a full medical examination.
Speaking on Thursday on RTE Radio, Mr McGuckin said: “I’m OK, I’m trying to get to grips with what happened, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, the last few weeks.
“I’ve just been reading some messages of support people have given me and my sponsors, and it’s just been incredible, the messages people have been sending me from Ireland, it’s been really nice.
“It’s really overwhelming, actually, so I’m still trying to kind of come to terms with everything, over the last week or two I’ve tried to start to figure it out, I think.”
Asked if he would attempt the race again, Mr McGuckin laughed but did not rule anything out.
“Ah look, at this stage I’m just trying to piece together and figure out how I feel about everything. It’s been two weeks since I was racing and now I’m sitting in Australia, it’s all a bit of a whirlwind, so I don’t know yet.”
Mr McGuckin added he would stay in Australia for a few weeks while he recovers.
His sponsors released a statement hailing his actions.
He is truly an inspiration, and our priority now is to ensure his safe return to Ireland Hanley Energy
“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 sponsors thanked everyone on the island and all involved in the rescue operation for their generosity, hospitality and professionalism.