THE Bolton Atlantic Challenge team have had a dramatic week after their boat capsized and two of them were thrown overboard.
Quick-thinking Mark Brocklehurst had to hold his team mate Finn Christo’s head out of the water and inflate his life jacket after his legs got caught in the boat.
The incident happened shortly after 6am on Thursday after a bout of heavy wind which sent a rolling wave into the side of the boat.
Thankfully no one was injured, although the boat took a battering.
Their other team mates, Matt Nuttall, aged 44, Nick Griffiths, aged 42, had to stay in the cabin to make sure that it did not flood.
Mr Brocklehurst said: “It’s been a very difficult week. The wind has been going in the wrong direction meaning that we haven’t gone as far as we would have liked, and on Thursday morning just after 6am it was so bad we capsized.
“Finn and I were on deck, we’d only been there for about 10 minutes and we took a big rolling wave that broke off the side, and it kept coming and knocked us off the boat and into the water. Finn’s feet were stuck in the boat and the angle he was at meant that his head was under water.
“It was a very harrowing moment for us until Finn’s life jacket finally inflated and we managed to get him back on board the boat.
“Thankfully we were attached to the boat by safety harnesses and were only in the water for a few moments but it felt like forever.
“Matt and Nick had left the cabin door shut to make sure it didn’t flood, but it must have been like a tumble dryer in there. Matt ended up wearing the muesli he was eating.
“I didn’t realise until after the incident that I was still listening to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds throughout on my iPod with Richard Burton narrating impending doom.
“My iPod has since died — but rather that than one of us.”
The crew are currently about 880 miles away from the finish at Antigua.
Mr Brocklehurst said: “We could do with the weather changing now.
“It’s been tougher than we could have ever imagined. We have had moments thinking, ‘what the hell are we doing?’ but the money we’re raising for Bolton Lads and Girls Club is what’s keeping us going.”
Track the team’s progress online at taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com