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Man overboard!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 6 - 2007

Royal Clipper anchored off Tobago Cays (Photo by Anita Dunham-Potter) Today was an interesting day aboard Royal Clipper as a crewmember accidently fell overboard. The young man was attending to the ship’s gangway during the sail from St. Vincent to nearby Bequia. Approximately 45-minutes into the sail the young crewman slipped off the gangway and into the water. Crew and guests immediately tossed life preservers to the young man and the ship’s general alarm was sounded.

It was quite dramatic; the ship did a 180 degree turn very quickly and headed back to find the crewmember. Two of the ships zodiacs were launched for the rescue. One of the zodiacs found the young man and quickly pulled him out of the water. I caught a glimpse of him as he came back on board. He was able to walk, but you could tell he was very shaken – I can’t imagine his horror falling overboard and then watching the Royal Clipper leave him behind.

Apparently he slipped trying to secure a rope to part of the gangway. Unfortunately for him he was not following protocol by wearing a life jacket along with being tethered to the ship. I am sure he learned his lesson rather quickly. Fortunately for him he had a magnificently trained crew that saved his life.

It was Captain Klaus Mueller’s first man overboard in his entire 50-year career at sea. “I suppose it was bound to happen at some point,” he says.

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