British yachtsman tells of terrifying Bermuda rescue

A British yachtsman has spoken about his horrific ordeal in Bermudan waters last Monday as he clung to a capsized catamaran for ten hours in raging seas after watching his hypothermic skipper freeze to death. Isle of Wight man Olof Templeman, 37, and another crewman, Kevin Klinges, were finally winched to safety in a dramatic helicopter rescue. They and their skipper, Steve Hobley, were 200 miles east of Bermuda on Monday evening when they were hit by 40ft waves and winds of 65mph. The trio were delivering the boat from France, via Madeira, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and had no idea the storm would be so savage.

Steve, from Newton Abbot, Devon, died shortly after their 39ft catamaran Haley was tipped over by a huge wave, hurling them into the Atlantic. Both survivors were wearing storm gear, but their skipper was less well-equipped, and hypothermia set in quickly, Olaf said. Around seven hours later they were rescued by the U.S. coastguard, who had been alerted by an emergency beacon.

Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, crewmate Kevin, 33, said they were determined to survive, adding: ‘After Steve went, there’s no way we were going as well.’ Paying tribute to Steve, who was in his 50s, Kevin said: ‘He was an extremely competent sailor. He did everything he could. He just didn’t have enough time.’