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Solo sailor dismasted, takes upbeat approach

Jun 5, 2012

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted Aletheia, a 36-foot Allied Princess ketch, after it was dismasted 170-miles off Charleston, S.C., on May 17. Later, the boat’s skipper provided some interesting insight on the accident on his blog.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston received a call from a commercial assistance company reporting that the 36-foot sailing vessel with one person on board was disabled in eight-foot seas, and was requesting assistance. Communication was established via sat phone, and the Coast Guard cutter Yellowfin was dispatched to assist. Aletheia was taken in tow by Yellowfin to Charleston.

At the time of the dismasting, solo sailor Daniel Collins was en route from Marathon, Fla., to Bermuda on the first leg of what he calls “The Oddasea Project” a planned circumnavigation.

In his blog Collins reported, “My mast decided to quit on the job a few days back and pretty much took a dive overboard after crumpling in half at the spreaders. I have a good idea and some evidence as to what happened, but that’s beside the point for now. I’ve been able to rig a bit of a jury mast using my spinnaker pole and my storm jib and while I can’t really point very well upwind I can reach and run and am therefore eeking my way closer to shore. Unfortunately, I’ve had to abandon my original voyage plans.”

“Due to the way the mast came down I was unable to salvage anything from it, including the brand new jib I just made. Quite a shame, and I can’t say I’m not disappointed, although I am in relatively good spirits and making the best of the situation. We’ll decide what to do about the voyage once I get some more details onshore. However, it’s pretty clear that Aletheia is not going anywhere for several months as it will take quite a while to get a new mast or find a used one that fits, re-rig, and get some new sails. But we will press on, one way or another! As they say, it’s not an adventure until something goes wrong. And right now, it is definitely an adventure.”
 

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