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Nature dealt us a killer blow

Sunday, 08 August, 2004

Jonathan Gornall, one of the four British rowers rescued after a freak wave destroyed their vessel off the Scilly Isles, has told BBC News 24 of their relief at being alive and well.

 
Me and John Wills, who is my watchmate, were in the rear cabin when this rogue wave struck.

We were sleeping and the next thing we knew we were underwater, fighting to escape the rear part of the vessel, which afterwards, when we surfaced, appeared to be completely smashed by a tremendous wave.

I just remember hearing it coming.

It was unlike anything we have experienced before.

All went very smoothly [getting into the liferaft], everything was in place, we had systems up and running in case of such an eventuality. We were in direct communication with Falmouth Coastguard.

The ship crew [of the Danish vessel] have made us very welcome.

"One of the nicest sights I have seen in a long time was crew members lowering a rope for us to climb on board.

We are all very grateful to be alive. Of course it's a shame that we didn't make it but there wasn't anything we did wrong, you know.

You take on nature and you take what she delivers and on this occasion she dealt us a killer blow.

Everyone is fine, the odd minor abrasion because when the roof of the cabin caved in, for a few seconds it was mayhem. John and I underwater just trying to escape in darkness which was not a pleasant experience.

But we got out and everyone's fine, everyone's happy to be alive. Now we head home and should be in England by tomorrow."

You take on nature and you take what she delivers and on this occasion she dealt us a killer blow.

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