One moment he’d been helping to change a sail aboard the 70-foot yacht Derry-Londonderry-Doire, and the next he’d fallen overboard, smashed into the rudder and was being swept away in big waves and strong wind.
For a while he was within sight of the sloop, which is competing in The Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race.
Then he wasn’t.
“I never contemplated I would die. I did consider whether the boat would find me,” the 46-year-old Taylor told The Associated Press in an interview from the boat via satellite phone on Thursday.
About one hour, 40 minutes after falling into the 52-degree water just past the International Date Line on Monday, Taylor was pulled out by his crewmates. He was treated for hypothermia and his leg was put in a splint. He’ll have X-rays after the boat arrives in San Francisco on either April 11 or 12.
Taylor, a catering manager from London, said he never panicked and never gave up hope of being rescued because he knew his fellow crew members were well-trained for a man-overboard emergency.
“I just want to express my gratitude to the team for their work and effort,” said Taylor, who had never set foot aboard a boat before he began training for this race in 2012. “It was a traumatic experience for everyone, for the crew as well as for me in the water.”
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, founded the Clipper Race to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to experience ocean racing. Every crew member has to complete a rigorous training plan.