Medical diversion on Qingdao

17 May 2022

Latest update as of 02:00 17 May 2022

Diane Morrison has been safely and successfully transferred to the naval vessel.

Qingdao will return to the position it started its engine and will then continue racing.

The Clipper Race Office is in close contact with the authorities and will be kept informed with Diane’s progress.

Latest update as of 18:00 16 May 2022

Please see below for an update on the medical diversion on Qingdao.

Deputy Race Director, Dale Smyth, has been liaising directly with t

he Mexican Navy and he has confirmation that Race Crew member, Diane Morrison, will be taken off the yacht by way of a boat-to-boat transfer, carried out by the Los Cabos Navy. Earlier today, Qingdao Race Skipper, Chris Brooks, reported that Diane is in good spirits and her eye injury has remained stable with no pain.

The rendezvous position is in the vicinity of 22°30N, 111°09W and this is approximately 75nm west southwest of Marina Cabo San Lucas. The transfer is scheduled to take place at 1800 local time today (which will be 0000 UTC on 17/05/2022).

The Navy vessel will have a 75nm journey back to Cabo San Lucas, where Diane will then be taken to an emergency care unit, most likely at the American Medical Centre. Diane may then be transferred to the closest available specialist.

The Clipper Race Crew insurer's international assistance provider will support Diane once she is in Mexico, as will Clipper Race Manager, Grace Kitching.

The ability to carry out a boat-to-boat transfer offshore will significantly reduce the amount of time and distance that Qingdao has to travel and will mean Diane can receive the medical assessment she needs as swiftly as possible. Not needing to make landfall should also have a much smaller impact on the team’s progress towards Panama.

Further updates will be made on this page if there are any significant changes to the above diversion and also once the transfer is complete.

15 May 2022

Leg 7 Qingdao crew member, Diane Morrison, has an injury to her eye that needs a full medical evaluation.

The injury first appeared very mild but on further consultation with physicians at PRAXES, the race’s Global Medical Emergency Support Partner, the Clipper Race has been advised that full medical evaluation on shore is required.

The injury was reported to the Clipper Race Office team at 1800UTC on 12 May and a case was opened with PRAXES. With no further improvement in the past few days, it has been mutually decided that Qingdao will need to divert to Mexico for Diane to receive a full medical assessment.

The team is approximately 440nm (two days) away from the nearest obvious landfall, Marina Cabo San Lucas, located at the southern tip of Baja California peninsula which is en route.

Since the early hours of Sunday morning, the Clipper Race Office team has been managing the situation and has been in contact with NMOC (National Maritime Operations Centre) Fareham and they are in contact with MRCC Mazatlán, Mexico and other SAR (search and rescue) authorities to explore all possible options.

The Mexican Coastguard has good airlift capability and another suitable option would be to facilitate a boat transfer when Qingdao is nearer to land. There is a maximum range of approximately 100nm for this second option. Therefore, there is a possibility that Qingdao may not have to make landfall but we will update further once more information is available.

Qingdao has been instructed to continue racing, but to shape a course more closely to the area of Marina Cabo San Lucas. Further updates will be made once the Clipper Race team has more information from the SAR stations / NMOC Fareham.

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