Motivated by a sailing tragedy, TeamO Marine has shown belief, vision and Barnes-Wallis-style testing grit to develop seriously innovative products that are revolutionising safety at sea.
Chris Reddish drowned during the 2011 Morgan Cup from Cowes to Cherbourg. While working on the foredeck, he slipped through the port lifelines and was towed to leeward at the end of his two-metre tether. This tragedy is by no means the only one.
Oscar Mead, founder and design director of TeamO Marine, saw an obvious solution. ‘An experienced sailor lost his life when he fell over the side and was towed along face-down,’ he explains. ‘I felt there was a clear need for change – design a system that tows you face-up.’
Oscar understood the problem. He grew up sailing with his family and remains the youngest skipper ever to finish the OSTAR, aged just 18, in 2009 aboard a J/105. He recognised that lifejacket and tether design needed a complete rethink if these incidents were to end differently, and he had the solution. Read on.