Piers Dudin, 31, skipper of Hull & Humber, one of ten entries competing in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race, has sustained an open fracture to his right leg after a fall on the tenth day of the race from Qingdao, China, to San Francisco, USA. The incident was immediately reported to Falmouth Coastguard and is now in the hands of the Japanese Coastguard who are co-ordinating the medical evacuation of the Salisbury-based skipper. The skipper’s next of kin have been informed and Piers is reported to be in good spirits.
Piers was on deck at the time of the incident which was reported to the race office at 0935 GMT. The crew reacted quickly and after seeking medical advice through Falmouth Coastguard they applied a leg splint to the injury and administered painkillers. Hull & Humber was situated 400 nautical miles east of Japan at the time of the incident.
The crew onboard Hull & Humber are experienced offshore racers having completed an intensive pre-race Clipper training programme; the round the world crew members onboard now have more than 18,000 miles of ocean racing experience.
As a precautionary measure, two of the Clipper 68s also competing in Clipper 09-10, Spirit of Australia and Cape Breton Island, were instructed to rendezvous with Hull & Humber in case they could be of assistance. Cape Breton Island has since resumed racing and Spirit of Australia is currently shadowing Hull & Humber as both boats make their way west towards Japan. Over the next 24 to 36 hours a decision will be made on whether the skipper will be evacuated by helicopter or boat, depending on conditions and range. Spirit of Australia, crew member Joan Clancy, an A&E consultant doctor, is standing by to provide medical advice if required.
At 1340GMT the Japanese Coastguard despatched a rescue boat with a doctor onboard to rendezvous with Hull & Humber.
Further updates will be issued as the situation develops.