Forty years on from Britain's Fastnet Race disaster that left 19 yachtsmen dead amid 60ft waves
Added 08-17-19 11:36:04am EST - “Derek Morland does not dwell on this scene in ordinary life. But it is always there, stowed in the back of his mind, his abiding memory of the 1979 Fastnet disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.” - Dailymail.co.uk
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Eight men huddle inside a covered life raft, cartwheeling in a mountainous night-time sea. Outside, the shrieking wind of a Force 10 storm whips the ocean into ever-greater fury — vast towering blocks of water forming and crashing down in relentless sequence.
The flimsy craft flips over again and again as wave after wave falls upon it, until at last it can take no more. Suddenly, it splits, spilling its exhausted and battered human cargo into the raging water.
Six men manage to grab hold of its still-inflated remnants but two lose their grip. They hover nearby for an eternity as their crewmates, summoning their last reserves of strength, try to reach them. One appears to swim towards his beckoning friends but the other floats lifelessly in the water, mercifully beyond caring.
Rugged seas: Trying to sail with a tiny storm job. Derek Morland does not dwell on this scene in ordinary life. But it is always there, stowed in the back of his mind, his abiding memory of the 1979 Fastnet disaster, whose 40th anniversary fell this week
In a moment, both men slip from view into the darkness, consumed by the foaming tumult, never to be seen alive again.
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