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Circumnavigation cut short just shy of goal

JUNE 14 - A lone sailor just two weeks shy of completing a nine-year voyage around the world was rescued Saturday after losing his mast in rough seas about 800 miles off California.

William Peterson, 56, was finishing the final leg of his journey, from Panama to his home in San Francisco, on his wooden 40-footer, Camerra, when the spar failed. Unable to continue, Peterson was forced to activate his EPIRB, according to a news report.

Coast Guard officials in California responded to the call, dispatching a C-130 search-and-rescue aircraft, a merchant vessel, and the Navy destroyer USS Chung-Hoon. The crew aboard Chung-Hoon launched an inflatable to rescue Peterson before noon Saturday, according to the report. The sailor was uninjured.

Peterson was flown to San Diego by Navy helicopter Monday, where he boarded a plane for San Francisco.

Jason Fell