Andrew Taylor falls overboard in round the world race

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Media captionABC America's Ryan Owens reports on the dramatic rescue of the sailor from London

A crew member from the Derry-Londonderry yacht competing in a round the world race, has been treated for shock and hypothermia after falling overboard in the Pacific Ocean.

Andrew Taylor, 46, from London, went over the side of the yacht at 00.43 BST on Sunday and was recovered at 02.13 BST on Monday.

Around 4,000 people have been taking part in the Clipper race.

Mr Taylor was swept away from the yacht by high winds.

The incident happened during a sail change in daylight on day 14 of race 10 in the 16-stage race, which is currently heading for San Francisco, USA, from Qingdao, China.

Swept away

Image copyright onEdition
Image caption Andrew Taylor, 46, from London, went over the side of the yacht at 00.43 BST on Sunday

In a recording from the boat, Andrew Taylor can be heard saying: "It all happened so quickly."

"I was literally gone. I came up and braced myself waiting for the safety line, next thing I knew I hit the rudder. A flash of purple smack on the rudder. It hurt.

"I couldn't hear anything. Then I saw someone up the mast.

"I tried to stay so I could see the boat, I kept moving round. I was holding the spray vest up trying to make myself a bit bigger. After a while I thought the wind might be pushing it and pushing me further away so I put it back down again.

"Then I saw the back of the boat again and that's not a good thing. Then I just heard a noise and got wiped out by a really big wave. That's when the storm started. The storm was bad, that was horrible. Hailstones, my hands were so cold."

The yacht's skipper Sean McCarter, from Londonderry, said he was working with Andrew on a sail change near the bow when he went over the side.

Mr McCarter immediately went back to the helm, stopped the yacht and initiated the man overboard procedure.

Race director Justin Taylor said: "In these conditions, a man overboard is swept away from the boat very quickly and visual contact can be lost in the swell.

"We have a well-rehearsed procedure to mark the position, stop racing and engaged the engine to search for and recover the crew member as quickly as possible.

Image copyright Clipper Ventures
Image caption The boat's crew used a man overboard procedure to rescue Mr Taylor

"An hour and a half is a very long time to be in the water in these conditions but a combination of his sea survival training and seven months at sea as well as wearing a life jacket and dry suit will have contributed enormously to his survival."

Following his recovery, Andrew was taken below decks for treatment by the on-board medic.

He suffered from shock and hypothermia.

His condition is being monitored closely.

The fleet of 12 identical 70-foot racing yachts responded to the mayday call and diverted course to provide assistance. Racing has since re-started.

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