The Russians heroically saved the life of a Polish athlete. She has been paralyzed by a nightmarish storm

Boaters have to overcome many obstacles on the way to success. To win the regatta, the crews spend several weeks on the high seas, inevitably encountering adverse weather conditions and emergencies.

One such incident occurred in 2000 on a Polish ship. A young girl fell from the mast, being on the verge of death … Fortunately, the Russian crew came to the aid of the polka.

Our team risked victory to save the athlete.

Photo source: RIA Novosti

risky rescue

In 2000, the international regatta “The Tall Ships Races” was held: the participants had to overcome a long journey from Halifax to Amsterdam. Already in the middle of the competition, the Russian ship Kruzenshtern took the lead, but everything changed due to the accident on the Polish ship Pogoria. 18-year-old student Joanna fell from the mast and sustained injuries that were impossible to deal with without medical help.

After a while it turned out that the doctor was only present on a domestic ship. The signal was given to the Russians, and the crew without hesitation decided to drift to take the girl on board. The operation was complicated by a storm, as a result of which the Polish ship could not get close to the Kruzenshtern – as a result, the sailors had to use boats.

Soon the student was given first aid, but it was clearly not enough – the Polish woman needed urgent hospitalization.

To Canada and back

Kruzenshtern’s captain, Gennady Kolomensky, announced the team’s withdrawal from racing and tacked the vessel towards Canada. The next day, the crew reached the point where the athletes were waiting for a medical helicopter and a difficult mission to transfer the girl to rescuers.

Photo source: RIA Novosti

One rescuer landed from a hovering helicopter, then another. Then the stretcher was lowered. The time for the operation was exactly 15 minutes. If you didn’t fit the helicopter would take off. But the guys are professionals, they did everything quickly. By the way, this is how we usually work with Swedish rescuers in the Baltic, they come to us for training,” sailor Mikhail Eremchenko told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Two lost days deprived the crew of a chance to win, but the captain decided to continue participating in the competition… And he made the right decision.

The rivals left with the first cyclone, which lost strength. Everyone got up. It took about ten hours to remove Joanna from Pogoria. Plus another day at the meeting point with the helicopter and the same amount back at the place where we retired from the race. There we hoist the sails and back to the race. We went a little north, overtook everyone and won, – Eremchenko recalled.

“The main thing is human life”

The heroic deed impressed the other participants in the regatta. After the tournament, a ceremony was held in honor of the Russian crew. The incident also softened the hearts of Polish athletes, who, according to rumors, at one point even demanded the disqualification of Kruzenshtern:

Photo source: Tall Ships Race

Besides gratitude, there was nothing from the Poles. There is a tradition: ships, passing by, salute the flag. The Poles ignored him. Proud. But after this incident, we’ve always been greeted with a flag, Eremchenko said.

Since then, the Russian crew has had special ties with athlete Joanna. The girl regularly met her rescuers in ports in Poland and Germany, recalling her past with tears and gratitude. Boaters have been in contact with the Polo for almost ten years.

Principal human life. Save someone else’s life fulfillment and happiness. Sail from politics. So it was, is and will be summed up the story of Eremchenko.


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