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Halcrow ‘devastated’ as Elsi’s mast broke

Andrew Halcrow working on his yacht in summer last year - Photo: Malcolm Younger/Millgaet Media

A SHETLAND yachtsman has been forced to give up his second attempt to circumnavigate the globe after his mast broke in a huge storm just west of Cape Horn.

ANDREW Halcrow, from Burra, is still on board his yacht Elsi Arrub waiting to be rescued by the Chilean coastguards.

The 54 year old lone sailor had been battling against strong winds and huge seas for some days, an estimated 100 miles west of the coast of the southern part of Chile.

On Saturday, his wife Allyson said the yacht was drifting and the weather was still “very, very wild down there”.

The incident happened earlier on Saturday as the storm started to abate.

She said: “He had spoken to the Chilean Coastguard and also to Falmouth. There are planning to get a boat diverted to him, hopefully in the next 12 hours.

“We all feel devastated but also immensely relieved that he seems to be okay. He is not of danger yet; he is on a ship without sail. Once he is on land, then that will be great.”

She added that it was too early to say what their next steps would be.

However, it looks almost certain that Halcrow’s yacht will not be towed to safety but left to drift.

A message on his website www.elsiarrub.co.uk reads: “It is with huge regret that Andrew as had to call MayDay.

“Thankfully, he is safe whilst being devastated by what has just happened.”

Halcrow had set off from Falmouth on his 13-month voyage in November, determined to complete the journey after a previous attempt in 2006 was cut short when he had to be rescued 300 miles south west of Australia with a burst appendix.


A chart of Elsi Arrub's slow progress during the last 30 days.