Caught by a large sea, just after removing his safety harness to go below, amateur crewmember Arthur Bowers was swept from the deck of the Hull and Humber, deep in the South Atlantic. Despite the conditions the crew recovered him, unharmed, and lost less than five minutes from their overall time.
From the Yorkshire Post:
Arthur’s team mates immediately raised the alarm and keeping track of his life-jacket, they turned the boat around. The first rescue attempt failed, but as the boat swept around for a second time fellow crew member Jeremy Reed was lowered over the side to grab him on the way past.
“It all happened so quickly,” said Arthur. “One second I was on the boat and the next I was in the water with my life jacket inflated. I had no concept of time and I tried to keep as relaxed as possible as our training had taught us not to panic and waste energy. I could see the boat and I could hear people shouting. One of the crew waved so I put my thumbs up to let them know I was okay and I remember seeing someone else pointing at me just like we had in the practice sessions to let everyone know where I was.
“The boats did a couple of sweeps before I was picked up and there was one point when I was worried it might go right over me as the waves were so big. Every time I got near the boat I was swallowing mouthfuls of water. I could see Jeremy’s legs, but I didn’t seem to be able to move.
“I think that was the first time I really panicked. It turned out that Jeremy had secured me, but I wasn’t sure. I held on to the helistrop for dear life, so much so I hurt my hand, which I suppose shows just what strength you have when in dire straits.