Injured British yachtswoman, Michelle Porter, was evacuated by the Port Elizabeth NSRI on 8 November 2013, during the Cape Town Australia leg of the Clipper round-the-world race after the boat she was crewing on, Derry ~ Londonderry ~ Doire, was struck by ‘monumental’ wave.
It was Michelle Porter’s birthday when Derry was caught in the storm and she was left clinging on to safety rails after he boat was struck by a wave. It was feared she may have broken her arm. It’s certainly a birthday she won’t soon forget as just when she should have been blowing out the candles on her cake, she was clinging on for dear life after the yacht was struck.
The boat was caught in hurricane-force gusts off the coast of South Africa as she and fellow crew took part in the Clipper round-the-world race. Ms Porter, from London, was evacuated to a hospital in Port Elizabeth on Friday night – the day she turned 37.
It was feared she may have broken her arm, but a medical examination found she had miraculously escaped with torn ligaments and severe bruising.
In a statement issued by the race organisers, Ms Porter said: ‘It’s certainly a birthday I won’t be forgetting anytime soon and for the wrong reasons. ‘I feel a bit numb, a bit sick, and also pretty devastated that I’ve had to leave the yacht.’
Ms Porter, who hopes to rejoin the yacht in Australia, added: ‘I sailed with it from London and I’m pretty gutted that I’m not doing this leg.’
Ian Gray, the station commander of the National Sea Rescue Station in Port Elizabeth, said its crews had rendezvoused with the yacht five miles from the harbour.
Michelle Porter and another yachtsman, David Griffin – who was casualty evacuated when a cleat pierced right through his lower right leg in the same storm – have been enjoying the hospitality of the local Algoa Bay Yacht Club and members who have been treating them to hospital visits, meals, drinks and tours of the city.
Michelle is signed up to do all eight legs of the round the world yacht race as said last night that she was champing at the bit to get back and race.
David, the father of three children – a 4 year old and 2 year old twins – with a wife in Singapore is looking forward to returning to his home in Singapore and eager to return to South Africa and ABYC in ‘better circumstances’.
Great to see Michelle Porter and David Griffin recovering well, back in Port Elizabeth. You are both missed! pic.twitter.com/P6q8yrnDSq
— The Clipper Race (@ClipperRace) November 10, 2013
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