Cork sailor’s lucky escape following near drowning

Cork sailor’s lucky escape following near drowning

Johnny Durcan, Crosshaven and of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Picture: Denis Minihane.

A CORK sailor was lucky to escape with his life after an accident in an international sailing tournament in Los Angeles where his skiff dinghy capsized and he was trapped underneath.

Johnny Durcan, a 17-year-old a talented sailor with the Royal Cork Yacht club, passed out and suffered respiratory failure while competing at the 29er World Championships in the US.

His 11-year-old helm Lola Kohl, was able to alert other sailors on the course who jumped in to save the young man.

CPR was performed on Mr Durcan and he was taken to a local hospital where he is recovering from the scare.

The sailor is the son of English Market butcher Tom Durcan.

Tom Durcan and his wife Yvonne took to social media to express their relief that their son got out of the capsized boat alive.

Johnny's brother Harry was also competing at the tournament in Long Beach California.

Johnny explained the series of events that led to the incident on Facebook.

“After scoring a 1st and 2nd in the first two races of the day. Lola and I had a capsize during the last race and I ended up stuck beneath the water with my harness caught which led to drowning and total respiratory failure, i.e I stopped breathing and passed out,” Mr Durcan wrote.

"At this point, things were looking quite bad because I was under the water unconscious for a while but thanks to the many sailors on the course who jumped out to help. I'm still here and kicking.

“Looking forward to a good recovery and get back doing what I love...sailing,” he added.

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