Hero sailor Garry Crothers is presented with plaque

A sailor who embarked on a solo voyage from the Caribbean after being stuck there during the pandemic has been treated to a reception by Londonderry’s mayor.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 5:32 pm

Mayor Brian Tierney presented a commemorative plaque to Garry Crothers at a reception in the Guildhall to mark his epic sailing journey to Londonderry after being stuck in the Caribbean island of St. Martin during the pandemic.

Garry, who is the vice-chair of Foyle Sailability, found himself thousands of miles away in the Caribbean at the start of lockdown. With all seaports and airports closed and the hurricane season closing in, he took the difficult decision to sail solo across the Atlantic on his yacht ‘Kind of Blue’. But what made Garry’s achievement all the more incredible is that following a serious accident in October 2009, he lost the use of his left arm and, in September 2018, had the arm amputated.

Garry shared his journey online, and it came to a safe conclusion in July of last year as he sailed up the Foyle, past his home in Culmore, and reached the end point of his almost 4,000 miles of travel by tying up at the pontoon outside Council offices.

Deputy Mayor, Alderman Warke, was there to welcome him and said Garry’s journey had been an incredible one to follow, and that he was delighted to be there as he stepped foot on home soil once again.

He said at the time: “Garry’s story really is ​testament to the fact that you can achieve so much with passion, determination and belief. It is so impressive that Garry was able to sail again at all after his accident, but the fact that he has sailed solo across the Atlantic is truly inspirational.

“I know Garry is a great ambassador for encouraging people of all ages and abilities to enjoy sailing, and I think his journey will certainly inspire others to believe that they too can defy the odds.”

Included in the picture taken at the mayor’s reception are Garry’s wife Marie, daughter Oonagh and her husband Ryan. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)