Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope January 7th 2007

Man Lost At Sea Is Recovered

From ABC News:

An American sailor who spent three days adrift after a storm dashed his round-the-world voyage was headed toward land Friday after being rescued in treacherous waters off the southern tip of South America.

"I'm OK," Ken Barnes told loved ones by satellite telephone.

Barnes, 47, waved as a navy plane guided the Polar Pesca 1 fishing vessel across calm waters. An inflatable boat with four men aboard approached his yacht early Friday some 500 miles from the western entry to the Straights of Magellan.

A Chilean navy plane spotted the crippled 44-foot ketch after Barnes fired a flare Wednesday evening. At first the pilots only saw the flare, then they spotted the sailor wearing a yellow jacket behind the splintered stub of a snapped mast.

The trawler was expected to reach land Sunday, and Barnes will be flown by helicopter to
Punta Arenas, Chile's southernmost city. Family members said they expected him back home in Southern California by Wednesday.

"He is in good general condition, but the first thing upon his arrival will be a complete checkup at a hospital," said navy Capt. Ivan Valenzuela, maritime governor of Punta Arenas.

Barnes' only injury was a long gash in his right thigh, but Valenzuela said the wound had been treated and covered.

Aboard the fishing vessel, Barnes took a shower, ate soup and was treated by paramedics, said the ship's owner, ChilePesca, in an e-mail to The Associated Press. His family said he had gotten some sleep.

His yatch, the Privateer, was heavily damaged by a storm with strong winds and 40-foot waves that thwarted Barnes' attempt to become the first American to circumnavigate the world in a solo, nonstop voyage from the West Coast. He left California on Oct. 28.

After his rescue, Barnes spoke briefly to relatives gathered at his condo in Newport Beach, Calif. "I love you. I'm on the fishing boat headed for Punta Arenas, and I'm OK and everything's OK," he said in a calm voice.

His mother, 21-year-old twin daughters and longtime girlfriend huddled around the phone, trying to make out his words over a broken connection that lasted less than two minutes. "I've taken a shower and everything feels better," he told them.


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