Steve Lloyd was yesterday winched off the cirumnavigating RIB after suffering massive chest cramps and breathing difficulties the day before.

Steve Lloyd was yesterday winched off the cirumnavigating RIB after suffering massive chest cramps and breathing difficulties the day before.

The Canadian Coast Guard arranged for a search and rescue helicopter to fly out from Gander, refuel at St John’s Newfoundland and then refuel again on the Hibernia oil platform to reach the RIB which was well out into the Atlantic on its way to the Azores. In order to make the rescue possible Spirit of Cardiff had to turn and run in heavy seas towards helicopter to close the distance.

Steve Lloyd was later found to have suffered a major heart attack but is said to be recovering in St John’s Health Science Centre. Spirit of Cardiff is now heading for St John’s, a cruel twist given that Alan Priddy and his crew were expecting to finish the circumnavigation in Gibraltar this weekend.

Priddy’s sole remaining crew member, Clive Tully, writes, “In an age when most people can expect a paramedic to be with them within 20 minutes, it’s a salutory reminder of the extreme nature of our expedition – beyond immediate assistance. Steve bore what was clearly a long, painful and frightening ordeal with a great deal of courage.

“And it was down to Alan’s masterful seamanship that enabled us to reduce the distance towards the helicopter pickup in heavy following seas. Needless to say we’re very grateful indeed to the Canadian Coast Guard, Air Force and other parties to the rescue for their professionalism, and to St John’s Health Science Centre, where Steve is now recovering.

“We’d welcome any offers of assistance, particularly from any of our supporters in St John’s. If you can help, please call Nadia in the first instance on 44 (0)7802 795583.”