Three crew airlifted to hospital following dismasting of Maximus just hours after start of Sydney Hobart 26/12/06

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Three crew from the New Zealand maxi Maximus have been airlifted to Moruya Hospital for medical attention after the mast on the 30 metre maxi fell in the early hours of this morning.

Five of the 23 crew aboard Maximus sustained more serious injuries when allegedly the forestay fitting let go, sending the mast crashing back on the deck at approximately 0300am this morning according to one of the injured crewman, Ian Treleaven. “It must have been the forestay fitting at the top of the mast that let go because the mast just came straight down the boat, down the cockpit, out the back, boom and all,” said Treleaven as he was receiving medical attention in Batemans Bay.

“We were just getting ready to do a tack. We had to tack inshore, because we just had to sort out a problem to allow us to put reef in the main and that’s why we were all in our positions. It was all the guys at the back of the boat who got injured.”

Of those injured, three have been air-lifted to Moruya Hospital including Glen Attrill from Sydney who has lower back injuries, George Hendy from New Zealand who has head and rib injuries and David Mundy who has a broken leg, chest, rib and pelvis injuries.

A police launch took two other crewman, Ian Treleaven from Sydney, with head injuries, and Martin Hannon from New Zealand, who has concussion, shoulder and back injuries, to Bateman’s Bay where they are currently being treated.

Maximus had a sail wrapped around the prop and two damaged wheels and there was talk of the boat having to be towed ashore but latest reports have the boat motoring under her own steam to Jervis Bay.

A total of five yachts have now retired from the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Endorfin with steering gear failure, ABN AMRO ONE and Maximus have both been dismasted, Michael Hiatt’s Living Doll which has retired with radio problems and David Pescud’s Sailors with Disabilities which has rudder problems and is returning to Sydney.