When Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon Escaped Death

Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon competed in the Fastnet yacht race in 1985. The race was a 608-mile round trip between the Isle of Wight and Plymouth off Britain’s southwest coast. The singer was asleep inside his 78-foot maxi-yacht ‘Drum’ when the It caused the boat to roll and trapped Le Bon and five other crew members inside.

Even though the alarm was immediately raised by another yacht on scene, ‘Carat,’ Simon and the crew members were stuck inside the upturned yacht for nearly 40 minutes before the helicopter rescue service came to save them.

When Simon watched for the very first time, the footage of his sea rescue by the helicopter rescue crews for the BBC One South West documentary, ‘Rescue 193’ he couldn’t hold back emotion as he described what he was faced with at that moment. He recalled.

“It was the moment when I looked into the eyes of death. It was the most dangerous situation I’ve been in. It was very frightening. It initiated in me a real feeling of warmth and support for the air-sea rescue service. I feel I owe them so much.”

The singer praised the rescue crew who do this work as their job and thanked them for saving his. He said:

“I realize that these are guys who face extraordinary danger on a daily basis, who go out and put their lives at risk, to help ordinary people to live. I am grateful to 771 Squadron for saving my life, for saving the lives of the other guys on Drum.”

Simon also reflected on the physical reactions he had after the accident in an interview with CNN Sport in 2018. The frontman shared what he went through by explaining:

“It’s something you don’t realize until after the event. About two or three days after it happened, I broke out into this rash, all over my chest, and all over my arms. I am sure it was a stress-related thing. I just couldn’t sleep, because I was asleep when the keel went.”

You can read Simon Le Bon’s words from the 2016 BBC One South West documentary, ‘Rescue 193’ here and watch the trailer below.