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Sailor recounts pummeling by storm

JAN. 9 — An American sailor who had attempted a solo nonstop circumnavigation was back on land Sunday after being adrift for three days in a storm 500 miles off Chile.

Ken Barnes, 47, of Newport Beach, Calif., said at a press conference that he had no regrets about his bid to sail around the world, and would do it again given the chance, an Associated Press report says. Barnes was plucked from his disabled 44-foot ketch, Privateer, Friday by the crew of the fishing trawler Polar Pesca 1.

Barnes called his girlfriend last Tuesday on his satellite phone to report that he was adrift off Chile and in need of assistance, the report says. Both masts on Privateer had snapped when the boat rolled 360 degrees, he reportedly said at the news conference. Two hatches were broken, the engine had quit, he’d lost steering and the boat was taking on water in 40-knot winds and 25-foot seas, he said. U.S. Coast Guard and Chilean maritime officials picked up the signal transmitting from Barnes’ EPIRB, the report says.

"The gusts of the winds, the break of the waves, the size of the winds, the angle of the waves: Everything came together to conspire against my plans all at one time," Barnes said at the conference.

Back on land, Barnes was taken to a military hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, the report says. He was expected to return home to Newport Beach Tuesday.

Jason Fell