Quadriplegic sailor Geoff Holt contemplates lessons learnt from Monday's incident 17/5/07

After Geoff Holt was swept off his boat and left floating in the water face down only minutes after departing Hamble on Monday 14 May, ( see previous news story here ), 41 year old Holt from Hampshire, has met with Crewsaver to discuss safety equipment before Holt embarks on his Personal Everest voyage again sometime next week.

Thankfully Geoff was quickly rescued by his highly trained support team, but there was some concern that he was unable to deploy his Lifejacket. Geoff and his team yesterday met with his safety equipment suppliers, Crewsaver, to determine the problem. After examining all his clothing and equipment it transpired that there were some immediate issues, which have now been resolved.

Geoff exclaims: “Monday morning was manic. There was so much press interest in my departure and after doing lots of media interviews and my farewell reception with my sponsors and friends, I was a bit rushed because I was keen to get away on time. I put on a pair of thick quilted trousers that were specially made for wearing in my wheelchair and, it appears, these gave me so much buoyancy in the water that my lifejackets integral buoyancy could not turn me face up. In hindsight I should have been wearing my normal and less buoyant clothing, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

“I’m very grateful to Crewsaver Sales Manager, Guy Page, who kindly spent several hours yesterday helping us solve our problem. Our entire team were present as we pool tested a variety of options. Guy identified a different product in Crewsaver’s range, which is far more suitable for my needs and worked perfectly in turning me over on each occasion that we tried. I am lucky that this accident happened now and not later in my passage on one of the more treacherous parts of the coast. The good news is that the rescue plan, which my team have practised rigorously, worked perfectly and I was rescued instantly.”

Ian Clover, Geoff’s Project Manager comments: “It boosted the crew’s morale to know that we can rescue Geoff quickly in an emergency and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to try out a variety of clothing and lifejacket combinations in the pool today and am completely satisfied that we have found the best solution for Geoff. It gives me and the entire crew confidence. Now our only concern is the weather and with no suitable weather window on the horizon, our restart is unlikely to happen until next week at the earliest.