UK & World News

  • 10 July 2014, 18:23

Video Of Narrow Tornado Escape For Sailors

Dramatic footage has been released of two British sailors being washed off the side of a yacht as it is knocked flat by a tornado in the middle of the ocean.

The video shows Sarah Usher and Liz Richards desperately trying to grab hold of the boat as they were swept overboard in the freak weather.

Their 70ft yacht - part of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race for novice sailors between the ages of 18 and 74 - was blown on to one side, then smashed to the other side as the tornado struck.

Winds of more than 115mph pinned the yacht down for around 60 seconds.

As they eased, the footage shows the boat's crew pulling the pair out of the water and back on board.

In the video, crew member Paul Hardy, a 43-year-old IT consultant from Brighton, is seen describing what happened and how he himself was submerged by the sea.

He said: "All of a sudden the wind picked up and the noise picked up ? water started to rise and I knew there was something wrong ? I tried to get out of the water and climb up on to the mast and then saw the water spout."

It happened when the team were a week out of Australia heading towards the equator with heavy rain and squalls battering the fleet.

The round-the-world race is described by organisers as the world's longest and toughest ocean race, taking place over 11 months and covering more than 40,000 miles across six continents.

Now in its ninth year, the race comes to an end this Saturday in London.

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