The crew of a UK based square rigger Tenacious were praised by the emergency services for their professionalism over the weekend following a medical emergency in the Irish Sea.
The 586 tonne, 65 meter Tenacious, had left Cork on the last leg of at 1500 mile voyage from Gran Canaria when she requested emergency assistance in the early hours of Saturday 11th April after one of the fee-paying volunteer crew, who is in his 60’s, complained of feeling unwell.
Falmouth Coastguard scrambled an RAF helicopter, based at RNAS Culdrose, to locate the ship which at the time was 100 miles from Lands End.
Though conditions were clear with a moonlight sky it still took the helicopter crew about 40 minutes to safely manoeuvre into position and winch to safety the patient, who was conscious.
The crewmember was airlifted to North Devon District Hospital where he is now recovering.
The helicopter crew praised the professionalism of the crew under Capt. John Etheridge whose efforts ensured a speedy evacuation was carried out from the deck of the tall ship.
Capt Etheridge works for the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) along with his 8 person merchant navy crew aboard Tenacious, which is one of only two square rigged tall ships in the world that have been specifically designed and built to enable 40 able bodied and disabled volunteers to sail under the supervision of a permanent crew.
Since the charity began in 1978, more than 36,000 have sailed with the JST. Some 12,000 have enjoyed the experience of a lifetime aboard Tenacious, which was launched in 2000 - the largest wooden hulled tall ship of her type to be constructed in the UK since the end of the 19th century.