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EIGHT BELLS - John Ross-Duggan
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The Publisher
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Mar 1, 2013, 6:10 AM

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The 57-year-old man who drowned off Kualoa Ranch (Hawaii) last week has been identified as John Ross-Duggan, a quadriplegic who was sailing his Hobie Getaway in the surf with friends when they apparently capsized. Ross-Duggan was an accomplished racer, who even after a car accident at the age of 23, which caused the paralysis, continued to compete at a high level. Ross-Duggan's achievements include 1998 World Disabled Sailing Gold Medalist, 1996 US SAILING'S Male Athlete of the Year, 1996 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, 1996 Hobie 16 Trapseat World Champion, and 1977 Hobie 16 National Champion. -- Full story: http://www.staradvertiser.com/...aking/193626501.html


The Publisher
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Mar 1, 2013, 6:10 AM

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From Chris Murphy:
I wanted to make sure that people realized how much of a pioneer John was in the sport of Disabled Sailing. He was the first to be picked to represent the US when sailing first became a Paralympic sport, winning a bronze medal in 1996 and again in 2004.

He won numerous other races in his Hobie cat before and after his car accident that left him a quadriplegic, and Sonar but the surf in Hawaii was his true love. He was a pioneer, an inspiration, a fierce competitor who left no stone unturned, and a true friend. You will be missed my friend. I'm glad you are back with your Mom who meant so much to you.


From Rob McNeal:
I was lucky enough to become acquainted with John Ross-Duggan back in the 80's while racing Hobie cats all over Florida. He was, by far, the most courageous sailor I ever knew. And he was one of the nicest, most down to earth guys I ever met too. I never even knew he was a Doctor.

He was sailing capsizable boats as a quadriplegic - often singlehanded if I recall correctly. I don't think he could swim. He did not have full use of his arms. And he was very good - National Champion, back in the day when there were hundreds of boats in the regattas.

He pushed his boundaries and was an example for all the rest of us. I lost touch with him long ago but often when times were tough for me - I would think of him. It doesn't surprise me at all to learn that he was a surfer too. There wasn't anything that guy couldn't or wouldn't do. He was an incredible example of how to live.




The Publisher
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Mar 3, 2013, 11:11 AM

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From Jim Leatherman:
Regarding the passing of John Ross-Duggan, it is with a heavy heart that I reply to this sad and unexpected news of the loss of a friend, a great teammate, fierce competitor, roll model, and world class sailor (how many Paralympic Medals did he have in sailing?). Over the course of one’s life, individuals come and go but there are those few that make a lasting impact on you. JR was one of them for me.

I remember when we first met. I was struck by the fact that I was going to let this guy take me out into the middle of the Ocean just after the Perfect Storm, on a little sail boat, while being duct taped into some twisted metal parts that sort of resembled a chair. As we exited Marblehead Harbor and the sail boat in front of us completely disappeared in the trough of the swell, I knew I had lost my mind to have been talked into being onboard. After all, we had a QUAD driving the boat. As I hung on for dear life, I remember JR barking out orders as if we were simply on a day cruise at the Islands. When we got back to the dock that day, right after I got off the boat and kissed it, I know this guy was something special, and I now “wanted” to sail with this Quad at the Helm.

Over the course of our Paralympic Campaign I grew to greatly respect his “abilities” and accomplishments, and would have sailed with him anywhere at any time. JR did not let his disability stand in the way of his living life to the fullest and I admired and respected that greatly. He was a fierce competitor on the water, and was great fun to be around at the end of a long day of sailing, and I will miss that.

That old salt would tell you that he went with his boots on, doing what he loved, and the way he loved to do it. Ja . . . . Ja . . . . . Ja . . . . Johnny, I will not sit here and wish you smooth sailing, and soft breezes, as I know you would prefer a challenge. Break your new crew in easy will ya, and remember that it will take them a bit of time to master trimming the sails, hosing you down, getting the cup, and calling wind and competition all at the same time. God’s speed my friend.




The Publisher
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Mar 3, 2013, 11:12 AM

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From Rob Stephan - Fairfield, CT:
I found the story of what John Ross-Duggan accomplished before and after becoming a quadriplegic inspiring. Not only was he a skilled sailor/racer but he finished medical school and a four year residency/fellowship in neuroradiology after his injury and continued racing and winning. Hats off to a life well lived. John's story can serve as a fine reminder to any of us who may complain about any adversity that we experience to think again.


paulmallinder
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Apr 17, 2013, 5:19 AM

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hello ,my name is paul mallinder
i'm so sad to hear of john's death and i'm so shocked to hear he drowned ....only a few weeks ago back on december 4th 2012 i saved his life from drowning....john had gone swimming without any supervision in the dive training pool/swimming pool in the philippines.
i was on holiday and heard screams from a lady who saw his body at the bottom of the 4 metre dive pool...he may have been there already five minutes or so .
i am not a diver or good swimmer but i dived to the bottom and got him out and between us we did cardiac massage and mouth to mouth...he was already blue in the face with no pulse or breathing as he had been dead for a few minutes by that time
after maybe 2 or 3 minutes of cpr john opened his eyes and we continued to try to remove the water he had swallowed.....the doctor arrived some 20 minutes later and advised him to go for x rays etc at the hospital but john being john used her stethoscope to check his own vital signs and signed himself off.

since that day john and i have been close ....i write to him every few weeks to ask him about his health etc .....he told me that after he had got back home to hawaii that maybe he had suffered a heart attack at the time of drowning and he was investigating this further.

i had assumed that he was back to normal health and he would be extra careful in the water in the future so i am so sad to hear that after saving his life once he then goes and does it again ,but this time he could not be revived.

i'm no expert in cpr and i'm no great swimmer or diver...i've never dived more than 2 metres in depth so even getting to the bottom of 4 metres was difficult for me....i remember being very short of breath and panicking as to whether i could reach him at that depth let alone bring him back to the surface,get him out of the pool and revive him....i can't believe that this has happened....i'm waiting to hear from john's sister...i emailed jon just 3 days ago to ask about his current health ....she has emailed me back with the news and after googling john's name i saw this forum.....i knew john was a doctor and i had read about his achievements in sailing...he was truly and man among men who must be admired.....it's just so sad that he has lost his life to drowning again...but this time ....no revival :-(


paulmallinder
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Apr 17, 2013, 5:21 AM

Post #6 of 7 (24924 views)
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hello ,my name is paul mallinder
i'm so sad to hear of john's death and i'm so shocked to hear he drowned ....only a few weeks ago back on december 4th 2012 i saved his life from drowning....john had gone swimming without any supervision in the dive training pool/swimming pool in the philippines.
i was on holiday and heard screams from a lady who saw his body at the bottom of the 4 metre dive pool...he may have been there already five minutes or so .
i am not a diver or good swimmer but i dived to the bottom and got him out and between us we did cardiac massage and mouth to mouth...he was already blue in the face with no pulse or breathing as he had been dead for a few minutes by that time
after maybe 2 or 3 minutes of cpr john opened his eyes and we continued to try to remove the water he had swallowed.....the doctor arrived some 20 minutes later and advised him to go for x rays etc at the hospital but john being john used her stethoscope to check his own vital signs and signed himself off.

since that day john and i have been close ....i write to him every few weeks to ask him about his health etc .....he told me that after he had got back home to hawaii that maybe he had suffered a heart attack at the time of drowning and he was investigating this further.

i had assumed that he was back to normal health and he would be extra careful in the water in the future so i am so sad to hear that after saving his life once he then goes and does it again ,but this time he could not be revived.

i'm no expert in cpr and i'm no great swimmer or diver...i've never dived more than 2 metres in depth so even getting to the bottom of 4 metres was difficult for me....i remember being very short of breath and panicking as to whether i could reach him at that depth let alone bring him back to the surface,get him out of the pool and revive him....i can't believe that this has happened....i'm waiting to hear from john's sister...i emailed jon just 3 days ago to ask about his current health ....she has emailed me back with the news and after googling john's name i saw this forum.....i knew john was a doctor and i had read about his achievements in sailing...he was truly and man among men who must be admired.....it's just so sad that he has lost his life to drowning again...but this time ....no revival :-(



paulmallinder
**

Apr 17, 2013, 5:22 AM

Post #7 of 7 (24923 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS - John Ross-Duggan [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

hello ,my name is paul mallinder
i'm so sad to hear of john's death and i'm so shocked to hear he drowned ....only a few weeks ago back on december 4th 2012 i saved his life from drowning....john had gone swimming without any supervision in the dive training pool/swimming pool in the philippines.
i was on holiday and heard screams from a lady who saw his body at the bottom of the 4 metre dive pool...he may have been there already five minutes or so .
i am not a diver or good swimmer but i dived to the bottom and got him out and between us we did cardiac massage and mouth to mouth...he was already blue in the face with no pulse or breathing as he had been dead for a few minutes by that time
after maybe 2 or 3 minutes of cpr john opened his eyes and we continued to try to remove the water he had swallowed.....the doctor arrived some 20 minutes later and advised him to go for x rays etc at the hospital but john being john used her stethoscope to check his own vital signs and signed himself off.

since that day john and i have been close ....i write to him every few weeks to ask him about his health etc .....he told me that after he had got back home to hawaii that maybe he had suffered a heart attack at the time of drowning and he was investigating this further.

i had assumed that he was back to normal health and he would be extra careful in the water in the future so i am so sad to hear that after saving his life once he then goes and does it again ,but this time he could not be revived.

i'm no expert in cpr and i'm no great swimmer or diver...i've never dived more than 2 metres in depth so even getting to the bottom of 4 metres was difficult for me....i remember being very short of breath and panicking as to whether i could reach him at that depth let alone bring him back to the surface,get him out of the pool and revive him....i can't believe that this has happened....i'm waiting to hear from john's sister...i emailed jon just 3 days ago to ask about his current health ....she has emailed me back with the news and after googling john's name i saw this forum.....i knew john was a doctor and i had read about his achievements in sailing...he was truly and man among men who must be admired.....it's just so sad that he has lost his life to drowning again...but this time ....no revival :-(



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