RadioBDC Logo
Habits (Stay High) | Tove Lo Listen Live
THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

US man bails on 7th solo try to round Cape Horn

In this Dec. 2011 handout photo released by Amada de Chile, U.S. sailor Thomas Louis Corogin is seen on deck of his boat days before sail, in the bay of Easter Island, Chile. The 84-year American making his seventh attempt to sail alone around the tip of South America was found tired but alive by the Chilean Navy on Wednesday after his mast broke. The Chilean Navy located Corogin on his 32-foot sailboat more than 520 miles or 850 kilometers, south of Easter Island, stranded but in relatively stable weather, with ocean swells of about 15 feet or 5 meters. In this Dec. 2011 handout photo released by Amada de Chile, U.S. sailor Thomas Louis Corogin is seen on deck of his boat days before sail, in the bay of Easter Island, Chile. The 84-year American making his seventh attempt to sail alone around the tip of South America was found tired but alive by the Chilean Navy on Wednesday after his mast broke. The Chilean Navy located Corogin on his 32-foot sailboat more than 520 miles or 850 kilometers, south of Easter Island, stranded but in relatively stable weather, with ocean swells of about 15 feet or 5 meters. (AP Photo/Armada de Chile)
By Eva Vergara
Associated Press / January 5, 2012
Text size +
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

SANTIAGO, Chile—An 84-year-old American sailor found alive in the remote South Pacific told his rescuers his mast was so badly cracked that he couldn't raise his sails without snapping it in two, Chile's navy said Thursday.

But aside from scrapes, bruises and general exhaustion, Thomas Louis Corogin was in good condition, the captain of the Japanese merchant vessel White Kingdom told the navy after pulling the sailor from his boat.

Corogin, a lawyer from Port Clinton, Ohio, was apparently frustrated at having to give up on his seventh attempt to sail alone around the tip of South America, one of sailing's most difficult feats.

"He was physically wiped out," said the merchant ship's captain, R.G. Villamin, according to Capt. Jorge Bastias, a navy spokesman.

The mast was useless, Corogin apparently complained. "You couldn't put up the sail without snapping it. ... there wasn't any way to use it," Bastias explained to The Associated Press.

Chile's navy sent out a search and rescue plane that had to refuel on Easter Island and then go back out again before finally locating Corogin's 32-foot sailboat 520 miles to the south. The navy then summoned the merchant ship to rescue him, and sent out a frigate with a helicopter and medical crew to pick him up. Their rendezvous was expected Saturday morning.

"The Chilean government is paying for the entire rescue, for various reasons, because it is party to international treaties that call for this, because it's our role, our obligation to save lives at sea, and more than that, because this man didn't have any accident due to bad decisions -- he complied with all the safety measures," Bastias said.

Injuries have ruined some of Corogin's previous attempts to go around Cape Horn, including a broken leg and busted knee, said Charles Scott, a friend from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who has sailed with him in the past.

Corogin, a lawyer who runs a small marina in Port Clinton, set sail from Easter Island on Dec. 27. He was forced to activate his emergency beacon on Tuesday morning.

"It's a shame to see it end this way," Scott said. "He wanted to be the oldest guy to sail around the Horn."

Another sailing buddy, Ohio state lawmaker Rex Damschroder, said rounding the cape had always been Corogin's dream.

"Each time he's had different issues, whether mechanical or physical," Damschroder said. "He might be 84, but he's got the body and stamina of someone much younger."

------

Associated Press writers Michael Warren in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio, contributed to this report.

------

Warren can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/mwarrenap

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

Boston.com top stories on Twitter

    waiting for twitterWaiting for Twitter to feed in the latest...