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Scots solo sailor rescued as power cut ends transatlantic dream

Duncan Hutchison's boat (Family handout/PA Wire)
Duncan Hutchison's boat (Family handout/PA Wire)

A Scots sailor has had to be rescued after abandoning his bid to row across the Atlantic in a homemade boat.

Duncan Hutchison was picked up by a cargo ship more than 1,000 miles from his destination after his vital on-board electric system failed.

He was yesterday picked up by a passing oil tanker, which was heading back to New York, near where his journey began. The rescue came on Mr Hutchison’s 100th day at sea in his boat, Sleipnir.

However, even at his longest estimate, Mr Hutchison had planned to be back home by now.

Yesterday his son, Clarke, posted online: “He will be devastated, especially with a technical problem rather than a physical or structural issue of the boat.

“Duncan is now safely onboard a freight vessel and being well cared for.”

Mr Hutchison’s distress call was picked up by HM Coastguard in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Hutchison had greatly underestimated the time he would take to cover the 3,262-mile journey. He at first thought he would get across “the pond” in 90 to 100 days.

Strong winds and currents have slowed his progress at times – confining him to his cabin to ride out the conditions on several occasions.

Mr Hutchison passed the half-way mark towards his destination of his home at Lochinver on August 6.

He had already been rescued once, being taken off his 23ft craft on June 4 in a fierce storm 20 miles off New Jersey – and just four days after setting off from New York.