BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Disabled sailor's hopes dashed
Yacht underway
Trevor Jones is suffering from chronic fatigue
Poor health has forced a quadriplegic sailor to give up his dream of sailing round the world.

Former RAF helicopter pilot Trevor Jones from Fulham, west London, had planned to use the specially converted 1m wing-sailed Inventure for the voyage.

The 40-year-old - who once rescued tycoon Sir Richard Branson from a ditched balloon in the Irish Sea - said it was "shattering" to postpone the trip.

He said he had been ill since December after completing a round Britain voyage and was now suffering chronic fatigue.

The Inventure has been specially adapted

Mr Jones said: "I lived and breathed it for such a long time - it was the focus of everything I was doing.

"It has been a bit difficult to come to terms with the idea of not doing it.

"All I can do is try and get well and see how we go from there."

Last year he completed his 2,500-mile, three and a half month round Britain voyage in Inventure, accompanied by disabled sailors and able-bodied carers.

Training vessel

The "great success" of the voyage, in which four other sailors in wheelchairs took part, proved that the concept of long distance voyages was possible, he said.

Mr Jones, disabled since he broke his neck during trials for the Royal Navy skiing team shortly after rescuing Sir Richard in 1988, said he hoped to get back on board Inventure at some stage in the future.

The revolutionary 60ft craft, which can be controlled by voice commands, is set to become the only training vessel of its type in the world for other wheelchair-bound mariners.

Mr Jones plans to use the vessel as a sailing facility for other severely disabled water lovers.

Click here to go to London
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories