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11 October 2011

Sailor accidentally injured

MOSSEL BAY NEWS - A participant in the Eastern Cape Sailing Championships that took place in Mossel Bay this past weekend was seriously injured in an accident involving one of the Mossel Bay Yacht Club's rescue boats.

Two rescue boats responded when Mr Lance Burger's sailing boat capsized during the competition in the centre of the course.
On approach the two rescue boats were on a collision course, causing the 3.8 rubber duck to swerve out. The skipper then apparently lost his balance and fell down behind the console of the rubber duck. "The skipper's vision was obstructed and the rubber duck collided with the capsized dinghy and Mr Burger, who at that time was behind his boat," says Rob Holden, Commodore of the Yacht Club.

According to Holden, Burger went under the motor of the rescue boat, which caused two deep gashes on the side of his face and fractured his collar bone.

"His clothing got tangled in the propeller of the boat, trapping him below water level."
Holden says the skipper of the rescue vessel immediately dived overboard and helped Burger by cutting his clothing free from the propeller.

Mossel Bay Fire and Rescue staff arrived on the scene and stabilized Mr Burger before he was transferred by ambulance to the Life Bay View Hospital.

"He was operated on and spent the night on a respirator due to the seawater in his lungs," says Holden.
He said the skipper of the rescue boat handled the situation directly after the accident very well. "He put his own life at risk to make sure the injured person was given the best chance of minimal damage and possible drowning."

Holden says the actions of the Fire and Rescue Services employees and the Yacht Club's personnel saved Burgers life.

- Mossel Bay Advertiser