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Rudderless, adrift and surrounded by sharks

JAN. 31 - A British sailor who was recently rescued after drifting for four days in shark-infested waters says he kept his spirits high by whistling Rod Stewart songs.

Peter Chandler, who is 52 and of East London, was 700 miles into a 2,250-mile single-handed sail from the Cape Verde Islands to Barbados when the rudder on his 28-foot sailboat, Inca, fell off, news reports say, and his fishing gear was dragged away by sharks. He had no water and was left with no way to get food.

“I knew there were a lot of sharks,” Chandler says in a news report.

“It was pretty harrowing,” he adds, “and by far my worst experience in 25 years at sea.”

But Chandler remained optimistic by whistling songs by rocker Rod Stewart. “Good old Rod,” Chandler says in the report. “I keep a large collection of CDs on board.

“I need good music in case I get guests,” he adds. “I’m more of a soul music man myself.”

Chandler was rescued after his mayday calls were received by a tanker crew, which notified the Barbados Coast Guard, reports say. Coast Guard officials pulled Chandler from his boat and brought him back to Barbados, where he plans to stay for a month while Inca is repaired.

— Jason Fell