A man has been rescued while trying to sail to the United States, from the UK, in a dinghy. The 30 year old Bulgarian man was attempting to make the 3,500 mile Atlantic Ocean crossing in a 14ft dinghy worth roughly €370, and with his only navigation aid a street map of Southampton. He had no lifejacket or lights on his boat.
With his journey soon in peril the man was rescued just five miles off the Dorset coast yesterday.
Passing yachtsmen spotted the man and noticed he looked seasick with his vessel in choppy waters.
When the RNLI arrived and attempted a rescue the man initially refused help, telling them “I am going west.” He refused their help for 45 minutes and eventually the lifeboat crew had to drag the man aboard.
Lifeboat crewman Pete Dadds told Sky News the dinghy was taking on water and the man faced certain death if allowed continue on his journey.
When the man was taken aborad the lifeboat crew discovered he was carrying a passport with a US Visa, hot dogs, beans and a bag of biscuits.
"When we reached the gentleman he didn't want us there, he wanted to carry on his way," Mr Dadds said.
"We were not happy leaving him out there. He kept saying 'I am going west'.
"His boat was not properly rigged so he was just getting battered, he was at the mercy of the elements.
"We said 'if we leave you you will die'. He didn't have a life jacket, just a buoyancy aid and the vessel didn't have any lights."
"He would have died, he was severely sea sick, he had the first signs of hypothermia and his boat was filling up with water.
"There's no chance it would have kept going for much longer," Dadds added.
Upon arrival back on land the man was taken to hospital.