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Down Under Rally Offshore Cruising Preparation Course Saved My Life!

Vessel Liberty III lost off New Caledonia.

John Hembrow — October 3, 2019

As the organiser of yacht rallies there is nothing more devastating then to learn one of the fleet will not be returning home. The only thing that could be more devastating would be for the captain or crew of a vessel to have been seriously injured or worse still, have lost their life. Fortunately this was not the case in this instance and I hope and pray I will never receive such news.

Liberty III


Whilst on passage from Fiji to New Caledonia last week I was contacted via satellite email and informed the vessel Liberty III had activated their EPIRB and were seeking immediate assistance. Liberty III was subsequently lost however her crew were rescued in a very short period of time.

Before departing Australia vessel owner Chris Doran and Kevin Doran (cousin & crew member) had attended the Down Under Rally Offshore Cruising Preparation Course in Newport NSW.

Without any prompting or request from myself or anyone associated with the Down Under Rally or the Offshore Cruising Preparation Course references by Chris I received the message below from Chris:

“With out a doubt the 2 day course I did with yourself and Leanne back in Dec 2018 at RMYC, really assisted in my preparations for the boat, and saved our lives. I would without doubt recommend everyone at least do the course, there is a lot to think about for preparation, and things happen so quickly in these situations.”


The last image of Liberty III as she sinks to the sea floor (see top left corner of image)


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