Video: Yacht skipper rescues overboard sailor

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The skipper of a yacht who rescued one of his crew from the Pacific has said finding the sailor was worse than looking for a needle in a haystack.

Sean McCarter, 32, of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire boat in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, said his team mate Londoner Andrew Taylor, 46, would have been unconscious and possibly dead if he had not been wearing a dry suit when he fell overboard 2,500 miles from land.

Amateur sailor Andrew Taylor being rescued by Jason Middleton (right) an hour and half after falling overboard

Amateur sailor Andrew Taylor being rescued by Jason Middleton (right) an hour and half after falling overboard

Mr McCarter, Irish yachtsman and former RNLI volunteer for Loughswilly, Co Donegal, said: ““We started searching but I mean a needle in a haystack doesn’t even describe what we were looking for.”

Mr Taylor has recovered well from his terrifying ordeal in the early hours of Monday (UK time) despite suffering severe shock, hypothermia and being hit by the rudder of the 70ft racing yacht as it swung past him during his 90-minute ordeal.

He was trying to change a sail when the boat rolled violently and he was thrown into the water despite being clipped on.

The yacht was about halfway on the 5,600-mile leg across the Pacific from Qingdao, China, to San Francisco when the accident happened in rough conditions.