Thursday, February 22, 2007

Just like in the movies

Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
Continuing press about the S/V HALEY, their situation, and their rescue.

From the Royal Gazette:
Two sailors have told of the “unbelievable” moment coastguards saved their lives in a rescue mission in an horrendous storm.

Olof Templeman and Kevin Klinges had spent ten hours clinging to their capsized boat as they were battered by 45-foot waves and winds of up to 58 knots, around 200 miles east of Bermuda.

The pair had seen their skipper, Steve Hobley, from Devon in the UK, die from hypothermia and wash away to sea during the storm. Their 39-foot catamaran Haley was tipped upside down by a huge wave at around 5 p.m. on Monday evening.

They were eventually rescued at 3 a.m. on Tuesday when US Coast Guard petty officer Michael Ackermann swam to the boat and hauled them to safety in a steel basket attached to a helicopter.

Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, Mr. Klinges, 33, from Idaho, said: “It was wild. We had been out there for hours and hours and all of a sudden this helicopter appeared over our heads. It was unbelievable.”

He said that shortly afterwards Mr. Ackermann appeared at their feet “as if from nowhere”.

Mr. Templeman, 37, from the Isle of Wight in the UK, added: “It was like we were watching one of those movies. He just popped up and said, ‘how are you guys doing?’

“I was like, ‘we’re doing a lot better now!’. Those Coast Guard guys were so professional and really took care of our well-being. For a guy to get into the water like that ... can you believe it?”
And we all thought The Guardian scenes were contrived; guess not, eh?

Seems these sailors from the HALEY have a taste for the dramatic: last summer, Kevin Klinges' girlfriend rolled off a bridge in Montana and landed upside down in the river. She drowned and was resuscitated.

I can imagine the tales they'll tell their grandkids... "Well, maybe you fell off a bridge, but I was in the middle of the Atlantic..."

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