On Tuesday Ken Barnes’ solo circumnavigation attempt turned into a struggle for survival when his 44-foot ketch, Privateer, was struck by a sudden storm 500 miles off the west coast of Chile.
Forty-knot winds and 25-foot waves dismasted Privateer, flooded its deck hatches, and knocked out the steering system, but Barnes, 47, weathered the storm unhurt. In response to EPRIP signals picked up on Tuesday afternoon, the Chilean navy and the United States Coast Guard directed several boats, including a Chilean navy vessel and a fishing trawler, to Barnes location. The rescue boats could arrive as early as Thursday night.
Before losing power to his satellite phone on Wednesday night, Barnes spoke with his girlfriend in Newport Beach, California, and a Chilean navy aircraft has also made visual contact with Privateer. Barnes is wearing a survival suit and Privateer is no longer taking on water, but with another storm brewing in the Pacific, the rescue attempt is far from over.
To track the progress of the rescue, click here.