• News

LETTER: Fastnet story recalled Gunslinger tragedy

Saturday, 24th August, 2019 11:55pm
LETTER: Fastnet story recalled Gunslinger tragedy

Have your say: Write to editorial@southernstar.ie

SIR – I read with interest your coverage of the Fastnet tragedy. This is a little-known story of a yacht that took part and tragically got caught up in the storm, but survived: 

Gunslinger was owned by National Westminster Bank and, at that time, Nat West was the parent bank of Ulster Bank Ltd. 

Gunslinger's crew were rescued and taken to Cork Regional Hospital (Cork University Hospital today). 

The late manager of Ulster Bank on Patrick Street, Cork, Jim Harris, was alerted by Nat West and requested to visit the injured crewmen at the hospital to offer support and consolation on behalf of Nat West. 

In a two-bedded ward he found one man traumatised and seriously in shock. The second man had gone for surgery. 

It was no place for bedside conversation so, having delivered his short verbal message on behalf of Nat West, he left. 

Unknown to Jim Harris at the time of his visit, was the fact that the surviving crew had watched their fellow crewman being swept away in a liferaft when the tether snapped. Their friend and crewman, Paul Baldwin, was lost. 

While Googling, I discovered Gunslinger still going strong and was for sale last April in Plymouth. 

Audrey Harris,

Greenacres,

Ardfield.