Aspiring round-the-world solo yachtsman Stanley Paris has been injured in the South Atlantic Ocean east of Porto Alegre, in Brazil, while clearing shreds of torn sail from the shrouds.
Kiwi Spirit’s route so far
The 76-year-old New Zealander and long time resident of Florida, who is attempting to solo circumnavigate the world non-stop in his 62ft sailing boat Kiwi Spirit, has suspected cracked ribs and an injury to his left arm, but is making light of the injuries and continuing in his attempt to set a record to become the oldest and fastest person to achieve such a circumnavigation.
The adventure begins
In his own words, here is his account of the incident:
New Years Eve started out well, but by early morning the wind picked up and I was caught with a light headwind sail, which was in danger of being overloaded. On several occasions I had to take the helm. It was a scary situation and no sleep for me. The 1/2 bottle of champagne to celebrate the new year had not been touched. Finally at 4:00 am, a gust blew out the sail and torn fabric filled the air with a swooshing sound. It was dark and there was nothing I could do but watch the sail self destruct. Come dawn, I started the long process of getting the sail down and on deck before stuffing it away below. This would have been too dangerous to do at night. It is a pile of scraps.
While pulling on some pieces stuck in the shrouds, one piece suddenly gave way and I fell flat on my back onto an extrusion of the deck. The pain just below my left scapula was in as much as any pain I have ever experienced. I lay still for a few minutes testing my lungs and then started to get going. I could feel a rib cracking in my back. Crawling was out, as my left arm could take no weight. A few more actions and I collapsed for several hours in the cockpit.
Today, three days later, I am doing better, but am very limited with what I can do with the left arm. It’s getting better and will take a few more days before some of the needed tasks on the boat can be attended to. I am now sailing conservatively and gently, until such time as I am ready again and can attend to a number of tasks. Sorry to have to convey this news. I shall be fine, just need take it easy as best I can for now.
His son Alan told media outlets he had been in touch with Dr Paris, and believed based on his description of the pain, he had 'fairly significantly' damaged his ribs where they connect with the spine.
Mr Paris said his father had no lung capacity issues or blood in the lungs, so he believed he was probably past the worst of it.
'He's a tough old Kiwi bugger.'
Dr Paris left St Augustine on the east coast of the United States on December 3 in Kiwi Spirit, and his official record attempt began in the northern hemisphere, near Bermuda on December 7.
Once he reaches South Africa, he will sail through the Southern Ocean past Australia, New Zealand and South America, before heading back to Bermuda.
He hopes to do it all within 120 days, which will be 30 days quicker than the late Dodge Morgan's solo Bermuda-to-Bermuda record, set in 1986.