Roberto Candia  /  AP
American sailor Ken Barnes, in yellow, is rescued after three days adrift on his disabled yacht off the tip of South America.
updated 1/6/2007 5:41:56 PM ET 2007-01-06T22:41:56

An American sailor attempting a non-stop, round-the-world voyage headed toward land Saturday after three days adrift, saying “everything is going well” following his rescue by a fishing vessel a day earlier.

Ken Barnes, 47, said by radio that he had “a very accommodating welcome” on the Pesca Polar 1 trawler, which “helps tremendously to recover.”

A driving storm off the tip of South America rolled Barnes’ 44-foot yacht, Privateer, and snapped the masts. He was picked up Friday some 500 miles from the western entry to the Strait of Magellan.

Barnes said he slept well on the rescue ship after getting just a couple of hours of sleep the three previous nights, according to Navy Capt. Ivan Valenzuela, the maritime governor of Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost city.

The Polar Pesca will take Barnes to the Felix lighthouse at the straits and a navy helicopter will fly him to Punta Arenas. Barnes, from Newport Beach, Calif., said he expects to fly home as early as Monday.

IMAGE: Ken Barnes
Ken Barnes
Barnes’ only injury was a gash in his right thigh, but Valenzuela said the wound had been treated and covered.

Barnes said he did not regret attempting to become the first American to circumnavigate the globe solo. He left California on Oct. 28.

“I lost my boat, but I preserved my life,” he said in a radio conversation Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Chilean maritime officials received signals from Barnes’ distress beacon on Tuesday, minutes after he called his girlfriend on his satellite phone to report he was in trouble. It was not until Friday that the Polar Pesca 1 fishing vessel, guided by a navy plane, was able to reach Barnes.

Valenzuela said Barnes’ boat, which he spent years equipping for what he expected to be a six- to eight-month voyage, had to be abandoned.

Barnes wore a survival suit and ate Pop Tarts and granola bars while waiting to be rescued, his family said.

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