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Eight Bells: Tony Bullimore

Published on July 31st, 2018

The sailor and entrepreneur Tony Bullimore has died at the age of 79, according to reports. Bullimore became world-famous after he survived for four days in the upturned hull of his boat when it capsized in the freezing waters of the Southern Ocean in 1997.

He was a founding member of England’s famous Bamboo Club in Bristol which he opened with wife Lalel, in 1966. The nightclub hosted stars including Bob Marley and the Wailers, as well as Ben E King, before it closed 11 years after opening because of a fire.

Bullimore rose to fame in 1996, when he went missing while taking part in the Vendee Globe single-handed around-the-world race in his boat, the Exide Challenger.

He was approximately 900 miles from Antarctica and 1,400 miles off the coast of Australia when the then 57-year-old sailor was feared to have drowned after his weather-battered and upturned yacht was spotted in the extremely cold Southern Ocean seemingly without him on board.

On January 9 1997, he was dramatically rescued by the Australian Navy. Naval crews found Bullimore underneath the hull of the vessel where he had been surviving in a makeshift hammock inside the cabin, existing on meager rations of chocolate and water. At the time, an Australian military spokesman said his survival was “remarkable”.

Bristol’s Lord Mayor Cleo Lake paid tribute to Mr Bullimore on Twitter. She wrote: “A Bristol legend both on the waters and on the music scene. Everything you did to break down racial barriers. Sleep well Tony Bullimore and thank you”.

The BBC and ITV both reported that he has died after suffering from cancer.

Source: The Independent

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