A SCOTS sailor whose attempt to sail around the world single-handedly ended with him being rescued by the Chilean navy has spoken of his shock at his mast breaking.

Andrew Halcrow, from Shetland, was left stranded on the 31ft Elsi Arrub to the West of Cape Horn at the weekend and had to be airlifted to safety.

In a blog post on his website he has thanked his rescuers and told of his ordeal, explaining he had specially rigged the sailing vessel to have a strong mast. The voyage was the 54-year-old's latest attempt to sail around the world.

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He had to be rescued in 2006 off Australia when he was hit by a stomach bug while on a similar trip.

Mr Halcrow, who is recovering in Punta Arenas, said: "Part of me can still hardly believe what has happened. If there was one thing I was sure of before leaving it was that the mast was really well rigged and would stand up to some severe weather.

"I had huge confidence in it and it was one of the things I never worried about because it had so many bits of wire holding it up."

He said fearsome storms with six-metre waves had battered the ship over the weekend: "It was so brutal that at first I was sure a ship had rammed into us. If you had been in a car you would have thought a truck had slammed into you."