24 November 2017 Update ( 0100 UTC 0900 Local)
Garmin (CV22) Crew Member Erik Hellstrom has arrived safely in Australia and has been successfully transferred to hospital where he is now getting the medical help he needs.
23 November 2017 Update to Original Statement (below)
As planned, a successful medical drop of supplies was carried out by the Royal Australian Air Force to Garmin on Saturday 18 November.
Following ongoing medical care for Erik, the Garmin team carried out a successful medevac of Erik via transfer to a vessel provided by the Royal Australian Navy (MV Stoker), which took place on Tuesday 21 November.
On Thursday 23 November, Garmin Skipper Gaëtan Thomas reported that he had received news from MV Stoker that Erik is stable and the medevac is ongoing with the aim to get him to hospital as quickly as possible.
Original Statement - 17 November 2017
Skipper Gaëtan Thomas and his Garmin team are making preparations for a medevac of round the world crew member Erik Hellstrom who is suffering from an ongoing abdominal condition.
Erik is not considered to be in any danger however the decision follows treatment and advice from Skipper Gaëtan, on board medical assistant and GP, Dr Nell Wyatt, and physicians at PRAXES, the race’s Global Medical Emergency Support Partner. It also takes into consideration the extensive distance still remaining to Fremantle, Australia.
Skipper Gaëtan is in constant contact with the Clipper Race Office, and Race Director Mark Light has been consulting overnight with JRCC (Joint Rescue Coordination Centre) Canberra on the best strategy given the remote location of the yacht.
The current plan is that the Royal Australian Air Force will effect a medical drop of supplies to Garmin at approximately 0930 UTC tomorrow, to help continue the ongoing medical care for Erik.
Garmin has been instructed to continue racing, making best speed towards Fremantle, with a plan to medevac Erik via transfer to a non-Clipper Race vessel when closer to the Australian coast and subject to a suitable vessel being located.
Our thanks to Dr Nell Wyatt who continues to provide excellent medical support on board for Erik. His next of kin are aware of the situation and are in contact with the Race Office.
Further updates will be made on the medevac plan as we have them.