US tycoon returns to Fastnet Rock where he cheated death
Published 19/08/2015 | 02:30
A US tycoon marked the fourth anniversary of cheating death off the Irish coast by sailing around the Fastnet Rock in the same race in which his yacht catastrophically capsized in heavy seas in 2011.
George David (70), his wife, Wendy, and many of the 21-strong crew involved in the dramatic 2011 rescue successfully rounded the famous west Cork landmark in darkness early yesterday morning as part of this year's Fastnet Race.
They did so on board his new yacht, Rambler 88, after his old yacht, Rambler 100, capsized in heavy seas off west Cork on August 14, 2011.
The yacht capsized after its keel failed in stormy conditions.
Mr David and his entire 21-strong crew were safely rescued by Baltimore RNLI in an operation ranked as one of the greatest emergency missions ever undertaken off the Irish coast.
However, Wendy Touton suffered severe hypothermia and had to be rushed by helicopter to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Mr David, a former United Technologies Corporation boss, is a lifelong sailor and member of New York Yacht Club.
When Rambler capsized, he was dating Ms Touton. The couple later married in 2012 - and both remain avid sailors.
The US businessman vowed that he would never forget what Baltimore RNLI did for him and his crew and, over the past four years, he has been a generous benefactor to the west Cork lifeboat station.
Mr David visited Baltimore in 2012 to mark the first anniversary of his rescue.