Geraldton Western Australia Crew Arrive Safely in San Fran

Clipper Round the World contender Geraldton Western Australia was hit by a 100-foot wave during its passage from Qingdao, China to San Francisco Bay late last week. Two crew had to be rescued by the Coast Guard with injuries that included broken ribs and vertebra and a ruptured spleen, but the boat has finally made it into port.

Following a dramatic 48 hours at sea, Geraldton Western Australia, an entry in the world’s longest yacht race has arrived in Jack London Square in Oakland, San Francisco Bay.

After 30 days at sea the crew and skipper, Juan Coetzer, visibly took a sigh of relief as they sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay around 0800 UTC on Tuesday morning.

On Monday crew members Nik Brbora and Jane Hitchins were medevaced from the boat onto a US Coast Guard vessel and both arrived in Oakland earlier Tuesday and were whisked straight to hospital. Nik has been discharged while Jane is remaining in hospital to receive treatment.

Upon arriving Juan Coetzer said, “It’s been a very long trip, so I am really delighted to be here in Oakland. We had a great reception coming in – with people lined up despite it being the early hours of the morning. After a hard and long time at sea, it’s great having people cheering as you make an entry. Everyone that has helped us during the incident over the past days have been so friendly and helpful, but for now I’m just looking forward to have a few drinks and then tomorrow we will start getting our boat in order.”

Ian Carpenter, Mayor of City of Greater Geraldton sent a special message to the Western Australia entry, “The people of Geraldton were very relieved to hear those injured are now safely back in port and Geraldton Western Australia will also soon be home securely in port. Many locals and people from right across the state have contacted me to get an update on the crew and the vessel. They’ve all asked me to pass on their best regards and their wishes for the speedy recoveries of the injured crew. Please pass on their and my best wishes.”

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