Rescued sailor reports he scuttled his uninsured yacht


Last month I blogged about Ken Barnes, the solo sailor from California who had to be rescued when his 44ft ketch was rolled and dismasted 500 miles from Cape Horn. At that time, it wasn’t clear if the boat had been scuttled after he was taken off by the crew of a Chilean trawler. Now back on land, Barnes confirms that he did, indeed, sink his boat to prevent it being a hazard to navigation.

This act must surely be one of the hardest decisions anyone has to make: the final and irrevocable destruction of a dream. It was a right and a noble thing for him to do, and all the more poignant considering that the yacht was not insured.

Ken Barnes’s full account is on his website , and his final comment is moving. ‘I learned much on this attempt. As with anything new there are things I did right and things I did that were wrong,’ he writes.

‘My biggest regret was involving others in my attempt at a personal goal. I don’t know that the attempt will be made again even with the expeirience I have gained. I was “all in” on this attempt and left nothing on the table. The costs in time, money and emotion were very great. To gather those resources again will take a lot of energy and who knows what tomorrow will bring a new adventure may be on the horizon.