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Fastnet 40: Sailors remember storm that left 19 dead

Forty years ago, 19 people died in what became the worst disaster in ocean racing history.

More than 300 boats, carrying 2,500 sailors, set off from Cowes for the biennial race to Fastnet rock in southern Ireland. But on the second night, a ferocious storm ripped through the fleet, leading to what was the biggest air-sea rescue mounted in peacetime.

For the anniversary of the disaster, some of the crew who survived the night have been speaking about their experiences, including Matt Sheahan, who was 17 years old when he saw his own father die.

Produced by Simon Marks


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