A WOMAN who lost everything in boating accident is ready to return to the seas after undertaking therapy

Debs Mitchell, 54, from Hullbridge, and her partner Mark Morrow, 58, had been living on their boat for seven months preparing for trip to Gibraltar and then across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

The pair set off from Essex in July, sailing around the coast and stopping at Salcombe in Devon.

On August 7, they awoke ready to set off on their adventure.

“We got up, checked the weather and everything was fine. There was nothing to suggest we shouldn’t have gone,” explained Debs.


The boat before the storm. Pic: Ace Media

But there was an unexpected squall – massive waves and strong winds as their engine lost power.

“We had sails up and anchors down – we tried everything we could,” Debs said. “But the force of the storm was too much and we got swept into the rocks near Salcombe.

“The boat was being smashed to pieces. We were in the cockpit and the boat was full of water. Then one of the waves knocked me off my feet and I went down into the boat; into the water. Luckily, Mark was able to pull me out. I was terrified. Then we were hanging on to the ship’s wheel, waiting to be rescued.”

The pair were pulled to safety after crews from Salcombe RNLI called in a rescue helicopter.

“The boat was gone,” continued Debs. “We’d lost our home and everything we needed in our day-to-day lives was on it."


The couple being winched to safety. Pic: Salcombe RNLI

A few days later Debs went to hospital and learned she had suffered a minor heart attack.

She said: “I was monitored and discharged a couple of days later, but after the accident I couldn’t bear to get into water.

“I loved swimming before all this happened, but I couldn’t even get in the shower. And I wasn’t sleeping at all.”

A chance encounter a corner shop helped Debs begin her journey back to the sea.

She bumped into Brad Mace, a brainworking recursive therapy specialist (BWRT).

After just one session, she was ‘sleeping like a baby’ and is now back swimming again.


The couple onboard their boat. Pic: Ace Media

Her recovery has been so dramatic, the couple are buying another boat to have another go at their dream trip.

Brad Mace, BWRT therapist from Positively Calm, said: “When I bumped into Debs I could tell straightaway that she was suffering and luckily I had a space in my diary the next afternoon. She couldn’t carry on in a state of anxiety and not sleeping. 

“During that one session we were able to bring her overwhelming negative feelings toward the memory down from a 10/10 to a virtually 0.”