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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 15:03 GMT
Rescued yachtsman has operation
Andrew Halcrow [Pic: Elaine Tait]
Mr Halcrow left Shetland in June to sail around the world
A Shetland yachtsman who sparked an international rescue is recovering in hospital in Australia after having his appendix removed.

Andrew Halcrow, 47, was 350 miles south west of Australia on board his yacht when he was struck down with pain.

He was able to ring girlfriend Alyson Keillor at their home in Shetland 10,000 miles away and asked her to get medical help via coastguards.

He was airlifted off a ship which had come to his aid and taken to hospital.

His girlfriend had contacted Shetland Coastguard who raised the alarm.

The UK Coastguard liaison station in Falmouth, Cornwall, was contacted and officers got in touch with their Australian counterparts in Canberra who sent out a spotter plane.

After the aircraft found Mr Halcrow's yacht, the 32ft Elsi Arrub, nearby tanker the Elegant Princess was sent to his aid.

Mr Halcrow left Shetland in June to sail single-handed around the world. The trip was expected to take him a year to complete.

Alex Wylie, watch manager at Shetland Coastguard, said: "He is well known to us and we are disappointed that he has had to abandon his voyage. We wish him a speedy recovery."

Coastguards' 10,000-mile mission
21 Dec 06 |  North East/N Isles


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