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a fortunate sailor and an unfortunate step from cockpit to galley.
One hand for the ship...etc.
A British yachtsman who was rescued after a bad fall during a solo Atlantic crossing has thanked the people in his local pub who helped raise the alarm. Alan Thompson, 61, of Chichester, West Sussex, had to abandon his uninsured, new £50,000 yacht in the ocean.
Falmouth coastguard was alerted after he called his local pub for help. The US Coastguard was then contacted to carry out the rescue on Saturday.
The veteran sailor was treated in Connecticut, before flying to Britain.
Speaking from his local, the Bull's Head in Fishbourne, he said: "I took a tumble into the cabin from the cockpit.
"It was just one of those things, but unfortunately caused damage to the nerves in my hip and knee and rendered me disabled without a crew."
A UK doctor spoke to Mr Thompson via satellite phone while he waited for help, about 690 miles (1,111km) north east of Bermuda.
He prescribed medication which he had on board the 37ft Hunter Legend, called Padolu.
"They said I had two options, wait to see a doctor, or get immediate assistance from a vessel five to six hours away from me.
"I took the latter option because I wasn't prepared to wait that long.
"I needed something to relieve the pain."
Mr Thompson was first thought to have fractured his pelvis, although in hospital it was confirmed it was not broken.
An oil tanker responded to the mayday alert, and two US coastguards were airlifted on to the yacht to help him abandon the sailboat and climb aboard the ship.
Mr Thompson said his yacht was now "bobbing around somewhere in the ocean".
He said: "I'm very sad of course, but I'm a pragmatic seaman and these things happen unfortunately.
"It's made a big hole in my pension fund."
Mr Thompson was trying to bring back his new yacht to teach sailing.
Pub manager Patrick Marshall, 37, said: "He said how nice it was to be back, but it was tinged with sadness because he'd failed in his dream to bring the boat back to the UK.
"I think he's just pleased he has still got his life."
| Alan Thompson flew back to Britain and headed to his local|
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