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Kiwi angler hooks 12-footer

It’s not always the fish that gets away — sometimes it’s the boat. A 57-year-old New Zealand man recently hooked the throttle on his 12-foot aluminum boat while casting for trout, and was pitched overboard, according to the New Zealand Herald. “He stood up to cast, and the next thing the boat is racing off and he’s in the water,” says Rex Parkin, a witness, in the report. “It just shot out from under him at full throttle.” The boater, who wasn’t identified in the newspaper, was rescued and taken to an area hospital. His boat reportedly raced around in circles for more than 40 minutes before authorities were able to corral it.

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A 78-foot trimaran said to run solely on biodiesel fuel was launched in February, and is on a tour of New Zealand’s major cities to promote the use of renewable fuels. Earthrace, which uses “wave-piercing” technology, is powered by a pair of 540-hp Cummins MerCruiser diesels, and can run on a number of products, including processed vegetable, soy, coconut, palm and mustard seed oils, according to information on www.earthrace.net . Biodiesel, which can also be made from animal and human fat, delivers comparable performance to petroleum diesel engines, according to the boat’s Kiwi owner, Pete Bethune. Bethune plans to set off in September on an attempt to make the fastest global circumnavigation, east-to-west. His target is less than 65 days.

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Whistling Rod Stewart songs helped keep a British sailor’s spirits high as he drifted in a 28-foot sailboat for four days recently with no water or fishing gear. Peter Chandler, 52, of East London, was 700 miles into a single-handed passage from the Cape Verde Islands to Barbados when he lost the rudder on his sailboat, Inca, according to England’s The Sun newspaper. “Good old Rod,” Chandler says in the report. “I keep a large collection of CDs on board.” Chandler was rescued by the Coast Protector, and he and his boat were brought to Barbados, where he stayed while Inca was repaired.

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A British man’s second attempt to become the first person to row solo and unsupported around Antarctica ended less than two days into the 11,300-nautical-mile voyage. Colin Yeates, who is 47 and of Hampshire, was rescued Feb. 19 by a patrol boat 39 hours after he set off from the Falkland Islands, England’s Times newspaper reported. Caught in heavy seas, his 22-foot rowing boat capsized five times. Yeates’ first attempt, in January, also began from the Falklands. But strong currents pushed his boat ashore after just 30 hours, smashing it to pieces.

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An Australian woman says she drank her own urine to stay alive after spending five days adrift in a dinghy off Indonesia with no food or water. Dominique Courteille, who is 57 and of Perth, was returning to her 36-foot sailboat March 1 when her dinghy’s engine failed and the current swept her out to sea, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported. While adrift, Courteille shouted at passing cargo ships and wrote notes to her four children on the side of her dinghy. She was rescued by a fishing vessel and taken to a hospital in Phuket, Thailand, where she was treated for sunburn and dehydration.

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A Frenchwoman is planning to boardsail solo and unassisted across the Indian Ocean. Raphaëla le Gouvello, 45, plans to set off on her custom 25-foot sailboard in April from Exmouth, Western Australia, according to information on her Web site (www.raphaela-legouvello.com). If conditions are ideal, le Gouvello expects to complete the 3,400-nautical-mile passage in 70 to 75 days. Le Gouvello — who has boardsailed across the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean Sea — plans to end her passage at Reunion Island, Madagascar.

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