Disabled Yachtsman Keith White Rescued Ending His Non-Stop Around Britain Challenge

Disabled sailor Keith White has been rescued off the Suffolk coast – scuppering his attempt at a non-stop round Britain and Ireland challenge.

The Isle of Wight yachtsman, who lost the use of his left arm in a motorway accident in 1991, set sail last month on a quest to become the first disabled sailor to achieve a non-stop round Britain and Ireland voyage.

The eventful challenge in his 14m (47ft) yacht Marathon required the resourceful yachtsman to make ongoing, temporary repairs but White had made it around the Shetland Islands and was en route south again.

However just before 7pm last night, Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat was called by UK Coastguard to go to the aid of the yachtsman, who was in difficulty 27 miles south-east of the port as his sail was damaged and his engine had failed.

Keith White Under Tow from the RNLI

Marathon under tow by Lowestoft Lifeboat. Credit: RNLI/Philip Holdsworth

Lifeboat Coxswain John Fox said:

“It took us about an hour to reach the stranded 14m (47ft) yacht whose full name was Marathon of Guernsey and when we arrived we could see that the vessel’s sail had ripped.

“A wind farm crew transfer vessel had been standing by the yacht until we got there. The skipper of the yacht was very tired so we put one of our volunteer crew on board to help him and then connected a towline to bring the craft to Lowestoft. The sea was a bit lumpy with some heavy swells.”

Talking about his eventful voayage, Keith Said:

“damaged topsides held together with gaffa tape, little or no electrics, no communications only his Yellow Brick, and a blown out mainsail. I’m exhausted and wet. This is the first time I’ve stopped all day. Very big seas and Marathon went over to a 40 degrees angle and now everything is on the floor – and predicted winds in the North Sea are 35 knots plus.”

A lifeboat spokesman said:

“The sailor was a bit upset about having to be rescued. He told us that, he had also been rammed by an Irish fisherman earlier in the trip. He had encountered bad weather with really strong winds over the past few days and the yacht had been knocked down by a heavy wave which is why all his electrics had gone and he was unable to restart his engine. He was trying to raise money for the disabled sailing organization Sailability.”

Content from the Practical Boat Owner magazine.
Read more at http://www.pbo.co.uk/news/single-handed-yachtsman-keith-white-rescued-off-suffolk-coast-53359#9CU2wEcLu3vcPQHp.99
The lifeboat moored the stranded yacht in Hamilton Dock just after midnight where he was met by the Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard Rescue team.


By | 2017-06-13T11:31:33+00:00 June 13th, 2017|Round Britain|5 Comments

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  1. Mary Ann June 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Keith, we are all saddened that your voyage came to an end after all your hard work and effort. You have accomplished more than most sailors dream of and undertook a task worthy of the best yachtsmen. We are all very proud of what you have accomplished and endured during this feat. Our prayers have been answered that you are now safe and hopes that Marathon can be repaired so you can sail her again! Love you Mate!
    Thank you to everyone who kept us updated and followed your passage. Great job Team Marathon!

  2. Jay Blackburn June 14, 2017 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Awww Keith, so sorry mate. You are an amazing man and full of courage and an unbeatable spirit. I can only share that awful moment when you say “I’ve had enough I can do no more” An awful moment but a wise one. Bless you Keith and Praise God for your safety.

  3. Stuart Gough June 16, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Bad luck Keith…so close yet so far. At least you are OK and will recover to no doubt give it another go sometime in the future. Stuart

  4. Reg White June 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    No mention of the fact that Keith had septicemia and could have easily died . . .

    “Septicemia is a serious bloodstream infection. It’s also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning. Septicemia occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, such as in the lungs or skin, enters the bloodstream. This is dangerous because the bacteria and their toxins can be carried through the bloodstream to your entire body.

    Septicemia can quickly become life-threatening. It must be treated in a hospital. If it’s left untreated, septicemia can progress to sepsis.”

  5. Jacqueline June 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Keith I can see from your tracker that you are now just off the Dover Coast and heading for home. You should by fair winds be home sometime over the weekend although the winds do look very light. You have more guts grit and determination and should be very proud of what you have achieved. Perhaps a few people can all rally around and help you get your boat ship shape for Round the Island Race. In fact is would be super if a team of people will help you get Marathon shipshape ready for the next adventure. Have a fantastic sail home and hopefully everyone on the water and at the bar will cheer you up the Solent.

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