25 Years Ago – Simon Le Bon Almost Drowns7August 10th, 2010
“… And once again the latest shocking news… A yacht belonging to DuranDuran singer Simon Le Bon has capsized in rough seas. The singer is believed to have been on board.”
Today, we give thanks that Simon Le Bon is alive and well. Take a moment to pause and reflect on what Simon has given us in the last twenty-five years: the lyrics that move us to tears and the dance moves that make us laugh, his sharp wit and generous smiles, and a willingness to share an always fascinating, never waning lust for life. Imagine, just for a brief moment, where we would all be without him.
It’s no coincidence that Duran Duran Appreciation Day happens on August 10. This year, remember that life can be gone in a whooosh.
This Day in Music Spotlight: Simon Le Bon Almost Drowns at Sea
Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran, was at the height of his fame in 1985 when a yachting disaster almost took his life.
A keen sailor, Le Bon had commissioned a yacht to be built, called it The Drum, and decided to compete in the 1985 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
On August 10, 1985, in order to help train the crew and test the boat and its equipment, Le Bon and Co. entered the Fastnet Race, a 608-mile trip from the Isle of Wight to Plymouth in England.
Unfortunately, violent, gale-force weather off the coast of Cornwall, England, threatened the safety of the yacht and crew and the adverse weather conditions caused the 14-ton keel to break away, capsizing the yacht with all 24 members of the crew trapped onboard. Le Bon and his team were trapped underwater inside the hull for 40 minutes. Fortunately, another yacht competing in the race saw what happened and called in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, who quickly mounted a rescue and everyone was taken to shore by helicopter, safe and sound.
Talking in 2005 to the Sunday Times about the accident, Le Bon said: “One of the crew caught below was drowning. He was right at the back of the boat where all the heavy sails are stowed. When the boat overturned, it took on about half a ton of water and he was stuck underneath the sails, unable to get out. He was terrified. You could hear him screaming. The whole experience, I imagine, comes somewhere very low on the scale of what young men go through when they go to war and face the very great possibility of death.”
Exhibiting a steeliness not expected of guylinered, new romantic pop star, Le Bon and crew spent the next month fixing up The Drum with a new keel, masts and sails and completely replaced the electrics. As originally planned, they took part in the 1985 Whitbread Round the World, where they finished third.
The events surrounding The Drum, the races and the disaster were the focus of a 1989 movie, Drum – The Journey of a Lifetime.
was it really 25 years..blimey.I feel old. I give thanks all the time for this band….they’ve made the dark days seem brighter, two of my oldest and dearest friends have been a result of this band…..friends I have now…..from this band. They are my life but they have enriched my life….
Lauren – Hi AlexI have just seen these photos for the first time and you have done an amanzig job, cant wait to see more. Thanks for capturing the best day of our lives so beautifully.Lauren12/14/2009 12:30 pm
Thank God Simon didn’t die that day. If he had, he only would have been remembered for the horrible note he hit at Live Aid a month prior. And my world would have ended.
Shine on, Le Bon!
‘Drown Drown’ with ‘A View to a Spill’…
That comment is un called for. Simon Le Bon nearly died 25 years ago. A talent almost wasted. Drown Drown with A View to a Spill is sick
Legend has it, a Cornishman found the mast washed up on the shore and took it home to repair/sell it. Le Bon sued him! What a knob
That’s actually a COMPLETE coincidence, since I created Duran Duran Appreciation Day years ago when I was a radio DJ, because it was my birthday! Funny how this rumor gained traction.