He was almost home. A Danish solo sailor who had his heart set on a solo round-world sail has ended up in Britain instead of Denmark, after his yacht was dismasted close to South Devon. He had to be rescued after 260 days without setting foot on land.
Christian after his rescue - photo by Olivier Vergnault
28-year-old Christian Liebergreen was only 700nm from the end of his 30,000 nm voyage when the mast of his 35 ft yacht Jonna came down in heavy seas. He ended up in Brixham instead of Copenhagen after being rescued by a lifeboat from Torbay.
Christian, from Svendborg in Denmark, told This is South Devon, 'Two days ago I spotted Land's End. It was the first time I had sight of land in two and a half months. Last time I saw land was the Falkland Islands.
'Then the boat de-masted. I called the shore crew who are looking after me from Denmark. They called the Danish Coastguard who then called the British Coastguard.
'They were very efficient. It all went very well and I was never in any danger.'
The incident happened in Lyme Bay, 14 nautical miles north east of Brixham.
The yacht was taken in tow by the lifeboat and brought back to Brixham. A spokesman for the Torbay RNLI lifeboat told This is South Devon: 'Everything is fine, and the skipper did everything right. There was a fair old sea running at the time.
'He was so close to completing his voyage.'