Greenings diverts to Porto following David Hartshorn Injury

28 August 2017

UPDATE: 29/08/2017 - 0930 (BST)

Whilst the team is arriving in Porto this morning, please read this Crew Diary from round the worlder Jenny Hall which gives an inspiring insight into the strength of spirit on board Greenings and the immense admiration the crew have for their Skipper David Hartshorn.

Greenings Crew Diary - Jenny Hall

UPDATE 28/08/2017 – 1930 (BST)

We are very happy to update that we spoke with Dave Hartshorn today who is in fantastic spirits, with his wife Lorraine by his side. He says the operation went really well and he will be discharged from hospital today.

He required four hours of surgery on his fractured, partially detached left thumb, and will need another operation upon return to the UK but is expected to regain full use, albeit with some potential stiffness, following recovery time.

Whilst Dave is desperate to re-join his team, that won’t be possible at this point while he recovers, so it’s planned that Deputy Race Director Daniel Smith, who led the Derry~Londonderry~Doire team to second place in the 2015-16 race, will meet the team in Porto tomorrow and Skipper Greenings onwards to Punta del Este, where the situation will then be reassessed.

Greenings is expected to arrive in Porto around 1000 local time (0900 UTC) tomorrow, where the team will be met by Clipper Race officials including Dan Smith and Race Manager Sarah Hoare. Dave Hartshorn will also be there to meet his crew.

We would very much like to thank the helicopter crew from the Portugese Rescue Services who executed an excellent and swift medevac and the ambulance and medical staff at Hospital de São Sebastião, in Santa Maria da Feira, who were able to act quickly and with excellent care to give Dave the best chance of a full recovery from this serious injury.

Once again, we would also like to thank the Greenings crew for their excellent and efficient team work, with special mention to Miles Berry, the on board medic, Coxswain Jeremy Hilton, qualified to take control of the yacht in Dave’s absence, and Team Coordinator Don Peterson, in particular who we understand have been hugely influential in keeping the team strong.

UPDATE 27/08/2017 – 1530 (BST)

Clipper Race Director, Mark Light, has just provided the following update: “We can confirm that the helicopter medevac of the Greenings Skipper, David Hartshorn, has been successful and completed at 1415 (BST) today.

“An agreed medevac procedure was put into place where David was lifted from the water rather than from on deck and the manoeuvre went really well.

“The Greenings crew have been incredible and have remained composed throughout. They are now motoring directly to Porto under the command of Clipper Race Coxswain, and round-the-world crew member, Jeremy Hilton.

“In this rare situation that the Skipper is incapacitated, Coxswain qualified crew members on board each team have received intensive training on how to take control of the yacht and lead it safely to the nearest port, where further assistance will be provided, which is the case in this situation.”

Deputy Race Director, Daniel Smith, is in constant communication with the crew and will receive regular updates. Greenings is expected to reach Porto on Tuesday morning, where the race crew will be met by Clipper Race officials, who will advise on the next steps.

27/08/2017 - 0830 (BST)

Greenings has stopped racing and is diverting to Porto, Portugal, after the team’s Skipper, David Hartshorn, suffered a serious injury to his left hand which requires emergency medical attention.

All crew on board are safe and well and the yacht is under good control. Emergency contacts for the team have been informed and Skipper David is currently in very good spirits, being constantly monitored, having been given morphine and antibiotics.

The Clipper Race Office has been in constant contact with the boat overnight and both have also been liaising with the MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) and authorities in Porto on the diversion plan.

On board Greenings, round the world crew member Jeremy Hilton, the team’s qualified Coxswain (CRCC), is working with the Skipper to help run the boat while they motor to Porto. The team’s medic, Miles Berry, a surgeon doing Legs 1 and 4, is liaising with ClipperTelemed+ by PRAXES Medical, the race’s remote medical support physicians, whilst also administering medical assistance to David Hartshorn.

The injury occurred at approximately 23:00 BST last night. approximately 450 Nm off the Portuguese coast (43 13 .752 / 18 04.561) when the Skipper’s left thumb got caught in a spinnaker sheet while leading a drop of their code 3 (heavyweight kite) in breezy conditions, with wind blowing between 18 and 22 knots.

The team is currently motor sailing, making best speed to port. Due to the distance from Porto, which is estimated to be approximately two days away, options are currently being examined for a medevac to be organised before the yacht reaches land, following assessment that an operation is required urgently on David’s left thumb.

Clipper Race officials, including Deputy Race Director Daniel Smith, will meet the team upon its arrival into Porto.

Further updates will be issued to this statement as we have them.

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