Dismasted in the Southern Ocean, Ken Barnes waits for help


Solo sailor Ken Barnes, about whom I blogged last week, called for help on Wednesday after being dismasted in the Southern Ocean 500 miles from Chile. Barnes, 47, is from California and had been making a solo circumnavigation in his 44ft Maurice Griffith-designed ketch Privateer. Reports are that he has lost both his main and mizzen mast, his steering and is taking in water.

The Chilean Navy sent out a plane to search for Barnes and dropped emergency supplies to him. A fishing boat and a merchant ship have been asked to divert to his position. One of these should reach his position sometime today.

By an odd coincidence the nearest sailor was thought at one point to be fellow American single-hander Donna Lange in her 28-footer Inspired Insanity, but she was later stood down. She’s been having her own problems with a broken alternator and is heading for stop in Ushuaia.