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Watch: Fit and healthy Andrew Taylor recounts Pacific drama

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A hale and hearty Andrew Taylor has fully recovered to give a riveting account of his dip in the Pacific earlier this week.

He explained how he was carrying out some technical work on the forestay when the boat rolled violently and he ended up in the sink.

Here’s a full transcript of his interview.

“I was working on the foredeck with Sean. We were doing a head sail change. We were unhanking a yankee from the forestay.

“Sean was in the unhanking position. He was out on the bowsprit and I was in the pulpit in the number one position helping him.

“We were both clipped on. We were working together. We had two or three hanks we were struggling with, we couldn’t get them off the forestay.

“We had problems with them once before, and so I said to Sean I was going back to get a tool, to unhank them, to pull them off.

“And so I unclipped. I turned around and I was going to head back down the boat to go and get the tool.

“Chris, another crew member, was literally right behind me when I turned around, so he went to get the tool instead of me and I clipped back on.

“I turned back around and I carried on, helping with Sean, carried on doing what we were doing.

“Seconds later, the boat rolled. It was a kind of violent type of roll. It lurched over to one side and boy, it just happened so quickly.

“One second my feet were on the boat and the next second my feet were in the water, there was nothing in between, it was just, bang gone.

“There was no feeling of losing my balance or trying to get hold of something or looking for something to hang onto or anything like that, it was just, bosh gone, I was in the water so fast.

“And then the boat went past. I saw this flash of purple as the boat went past me.

“And then I got hit by the rudder, and it hit me, boy, it hit me hard. It hit me on the legs, spun me right round, it completely disoriented me, and put me back under water again, it hit me really hard, jeesh it hurt, it hurt a lot, it hit me on the leg.

“At that point I was wondering if anyone had seen me or not because it had happened so fast.

“I don’t remember seeing anybody else. I don’t know if anybody had seen me. I’d wondered whether Sean had seen me or not because it was so quick.

“You could still see the boat. It was still going away from me. The sea was pretty rough and I was starting to just see the mast rather than the boat.

“As the waves were coming up and down it felt like every time I went up the boat went down and really all I could see was the mast.

“Then I saw the side of the boat and a bit later I saw the other side of the boat, so I knew then, or I guessed then, that the boat was probably doing some searching, it was in a search pattern .

“And then I saw someone at the mast. And I remember thinking when I saw that, I thought, that’s really cool because it means the boat is looking for me.

“That absolutely meant they were looking for me and I remember thinking that’s really good because now they know I’m in the water and they’re looking for me and then, I thought, that’s actually really bad because they can’t find me and they don’t know where I am.

“The crew on this boat are amazing. So, I knew they were looking for me and that was amazing.

“And I saw the most amazing sky. It was just black. Jet black. And it was right over the top of the boat and it was the most incredible storm and I remember thinking, “The boat are getting hit by a storm and it’s going to make their life more difficult. It’s going to make the search harder. The waves were enormous and you can see the boat getting pummelled by the storm and I was so cold, it was so, very, very cold at that point.

“The storm got closer and closer and then it started raining and very quickly turned to hail stones and the hail stones really hurt. It was bad. It was really bad. They hurt my hands, they hurt my face, and I couldn’t escape from them. It was just like, getting pummelled, by the hail stones.

“And then I got hit, I got hit from behind, by a really big wave, I heard it coming, whitewater hit me from behind, winded me, rolled me over, tipped me upside down, rolled me over and over and over, like wiping out on surf or getting washed up on a beach.”

 

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