January 4, 2007 in Nation/World

Weather delays help for U.S. sailor near Chile

Los Angeles Times The Spokesman-Review

A 47-year-old man from Southern California, whose childhood dream was to sail solo around the world, is adrift in a storm-damaged boat off the coast of Chile waiting for rescuers rushing to his aid, family and officials said Wednesday.

Ken Barnes was spotted Wednesday afternoon on his 44-foot ketch about 500 miles off the coast of Chile by rescuers from Chile’s navy who dropped emergency supplies, according to Barnes’ family gathered at his Newport Beach home.

A U.S. Coast Guard official broke the news to the family in a 5 p.m. telephone call.

Barnes was on the deck of his severely damaged boat waving to the rescue plane, the family said.

Barnes left on his attempt to solo sail around the globe on Oct. 28, but his boat was damaged in recent days by a storm. The weather conditions in the area are improving and the sky was reported to be clear with 20 mph winds and 18-foot seas.

Still, the rough seas have delayed rescuers, with the first ship expected to reach Barnes no sooner than 10 p.m. today.

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