David Clark's record breaking bid to be the oldest man to sail solo round the world ended in disaster on Thursday as his yacht sank two days after leaving Cape Town, Reuters reported
. He survived and has been picked up, but his white West Highland Terrier Mickey -- who had a life-saving operation while in Cape Town -- was lost. "His yacht started taking on water and he radioed for help. He abandoned ship and was picked up by a nearby vessel but his dog was drowned," Sea Rescue Coordinating Center spokesman Jinx Botes said
. "He is safe and sound and on board the Safmarine vessel Emonte heading for East London."
Clark left Cape Town aboard his 42-ft., steel-hulled boat "Mollie Milar" on Tuesday on the final 7,000 mile leg of a solo round the world journey that would have taken him back to port in Fort Lauderdale on May 17 -- his 77th birthday. In the past 14 months at sea Clark has sailed past the Bahamas
, Panama, the Galapagos Islands
, Tahiti, Samoa, Papua New Guinea
, Australia and Mauritius
to South Africa.
The lap home would have taken him to St. Helena, Barbados, the Bahamas and finally back to Fort Lauderdale. Clark had planned a big party when he got back to Fort Lauderdale, but the 30 cases of South African bubbly
he was carrying went down with the ship. - (Reuters)