Golding's rescue of Alex Thomson

Ocean Rescue: The Race against Time, a one-off 60 minute documentary that tells the incredible story of one of the most dramatic rescues in round-the-world sailing will be shown on More4 at 10pm on Thursday 18th January.

33 days and 7000 miles into the race, Alex Thomson was fighting for his life and preparing to abandon ship after the keel on his yacht broke loose in the icy Southern Ocean, 1000 miles from land. Out of range of the rescue services, with a 50-knot storm imminent, Thomson’s sole chance of survival was for his adversary to turn back and sail nearly 100 miles in a force eight gale to attempt a perilous rescue.

The drama unfolded in one of the most isolated parts of the planet; with two solitary skippers battling against the odds. Miraculously, both kept their on-board cameras rolling throughout, with Thomson disclosing his gravest fears from the fragility of his life raft. Just when the extraordinary rescue seemed to have been successful, Golding’s mast – the height of a seven-storey building – snapped, and the pair were fighting for their lives again. Subsequently, Golding and Thomson, who had been openly hostile towards each other before the start of the race, were forced to live together in Golding’s tiny cabin for seven days as they battled their way to safety. A remarkable eye-witness account, Ocean Rescue: The Race against Time charts each tense stage of this breathtaking story.

Andrew Thompson, Channel 4’s Head of Sport, said “This is an extraordinary tale of human courage. We had already committed to covering the Velux 5 oceans race on Channel 4, so we had exclusive access to the amazing on-board camera material at the moments of crisis. This is a documentary that charts first hand a most extraordinary rescue in one of the world’s toughest sporting challenges.”

Ocean Rescue: The Race against Time is produced by APP Broadcast, and exec produced by Andrew Preece.  The programme broadcasts on More4 on the 18th January at 10pm.