A man, who was swept away from his yacht, by a huge wave has praised the crew of Shoreham lifeboat and rescue who saved his life. The sailor named Cornelis van Rietschoten was sailing 6 nautical miles off the Shoreham coast earlier on Saturday when he was slung into the freezing water.
The fifty-six year old man, who is an experienced sailor who ties up his boat at the Sussex Yacht Club in Southwick, immediately drifted hundred and fifty meters from his boat, leaving his buddy Spencer Neal onboard and fighting to keep control of the boat.
In the meantime, Cornelis started to realize that he was in deep trouble. He was not panicked, but he quickly realized that he was in very serious trouble. He was getting very cold and the wind was very visibly picking up.
Spencer was not able to reach him in the boat, as the sails had got clung, so he was pressured to call for help through the digital selective calling (DSC) function on his radio. It alarmed the coastguard service that they were in distress and sent them their exact location.
Cornelis told that he could not recall how long he was in the water, but the rescue crews said it was around thirty-five minutes. He said that he recalls a helicopter flying overhead, but disappearing then, and the sound of the lifeboat’s engine. The next thing he remember he was being pulled into a helicopter.
He added that it took a lot of time to get the sling on him, as his body was so cold that he could not do anything. His memory is a bit hazy, but he knows that they flew him to the Royal Sussex County Hospital. The rescue crews were just brilliant. Thanking them would not be enough.