Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Sailor leaves voyage for leg op

Mark Maidment
Mark Maidment will have an operation in Melbourne

A crew member who broke his leg sailing from the UK to Australia has been taken off the boat for treatment.

Mark Maidment, 44, broke his leg on Tuesday after Spirit of Mystery was struck by freak weather off Kangeroo Island, near southern Australia.

Spirit of Mystery docked in the Australian harbour of Portland and Mr Maidment was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Melbourne for an operation.

The voyage is led by Pete Goss whose son and brother are also on board.

The Spirit of Mystery was knocked over by a huge wave late on Tuesday night, leaving policeman Mr Maidment with a broken leg and the boat without a life raft.

Supplies of morphine and a satellite phone were dropped from a plane to the crew.

The crew are now sailing to Melbourne and the end of their epic journey.

The Spirit of Mystery, a specially-built wooden Cornish lugger, set off from the Cornish port of Newlyn in November 2008.

The remainder of the crew hope to arrive at their final destination of Melbourne on 9 or 10 March.

The crew are retracing the journey made by a group of Cornishmen 154 years ago, who travelled to Australia hoping to mine gold.

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