PRESS RELEASE - VISION OF CORNWALL
Statement in relation to incident - Vision of Cornwall Capsize
22nd March 2010
At 01.02 UTC a position was received by the race officer in relation to the final approach of the ocean rowing boat Vision of Cornwall. The rowing vessel had already completed it's Atlantic crossing from la Gomera to Antigua and had crossed the line of longitude of the Eastern point of Antigua after 76 days at sea.
The ABSAR (Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue) Rib was launched as in normal practice when ocean rowing vessels make their final approach to the island. On approach to the estimated location of the vessel, ABSAR failed to raise the vessel on VHF. The 02.00 UTC position report also failed to transmit from the rowing vessel.
At approximately 02.40 UTC after about 15 minutes of searching, the strobe light of an activated EPIRB was detected inshore of the reef at Mamora Bay. The vessel was found upside down with both crew members safely on top of the hull.
ABSAR recovered Phil Pring and Benjamin Cummings (Skippy) - both crew members were unharmed. ABSAR then towed their vessel to St James Club, Falmouth where the boat is now safely moored.
It appears that the wind blew the ocean rowing boat onto the reefs. The boat passed over a first reef and narrowly avoided capsizes but despite the guys efforts to row the boat clear - the breaking surf rolled the vessel which became trapped on the reef. The vessel sustained minor damage before breaking free.
Phil & Skippy are proudly representing "Cornwall Blind Association" and their Chief executive Martin Pallett had the messages for the boys.
"When Phil and Skippy approached us last year about naming their boat Vision of Cornwall and linking this great challenge to the Cornwall Blind Association, we were both delighted and honoured.
"Phil told us about his own experiences of family blindness and how this had inspired his decision to raise much needed funds and awareness for the charity, which has been greatly appreciated.
"One of the main Cornwall Blind Association objectives is to deal with the social isolation faced by many visually impaired people on a daily basis and through 76 days at sea Phil and Skippy have also had to deal with their own form of isolation in some of the most challenging conditions.
"On behalf on the Cornwall Blind Association I would like to say how proud we are of Phil and Skippy's huge transatlantic achievement and all they've done for the charity."
Both men are happy to have completed their Atlantic Crossing and to be safely onshore with their families and friends.