Indian Ocean 8 Crew

Monday, May 25, 2009

Southern Cross Capsizes in Heavy Weather by Woodvale

Southern Cross Capsizes in Heavy Weather
21 May 2009 12:08 BST

The heavy weather of the past 24 hours has begun to pass over the fleet, allowing the teams to assess the damage, if any, that mother-nature has caused to their boats. Despite one capsize situation onboard Southern Cross, all the teams have come through this weather system relatively unscathed.

Below is a full account of the Southern Cross capsize courtesy of Roy Childs, father of Jamie Facer-Childs.

Southern Cross Capsizes

7 minutes upside down in the Indian Ocean

At 1.15 this morning, 21st May 2009, a small, ocean rowing boat called Southern Cross capsized nearly 1000 miles from Western Australia. It remained upside down for a total of 7 minutes.

The two rowers are the youngest to attempt to cross this vast ocean. Jamie Facer-Childs (21) and James Thysse (22) from Maidenhead and Reading were inside their tiny cabin when a wave came at them sideways on and tossed them over.

Fortunately the two had battened down the hatches and were inside the cabin maintaining the watertight integrity of the boat. However, the 7 minutes to self right itself was, let us say, anxiety promoting to say the least. The two boys desperately hurled themselves against the side of the cabin in an attempt to get the boat to start turning right side up. Eventually it did self right.

Still in big swells there has not been an opportunity to carry out a full inspection of the damage done but the good news is that the oars had been carefully stowed and appear to be undamaged. It may be too early to laugh at this episode but Mother Nature chose her time carefully since one of the boys was in the process of using the bucket for his ablutions. We need not imagine the rest but suffice to say that they probably have 3 more days waiting for the storm to abate.

Not many people would go along with their imaginary postcard saying “wish you were here” but we certainly take our hat off to these two youngsters who are still the leading the “Pairs” race and who are still committed to arriving in Mauritius.

I am able to write this because their satellite phone is still working. It is amazing to be able to talk to them and hear how they are calmly dealing with this amazing adventure and all the adversity that is being thrown at them. Good heart, good courage and good luck to them both.

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