A yacht maker has abandoned his mission to sail from Canada to Cornwall after his home-made vessel “basically sunk” while docked.
Andrew Bedwell, 49, set off on the 1,900-mile solo trip from St John’s, Newfoundland, at 1.30pm local time on Saturday.
But only hours into the voyage his ship, named Big C, started letting in water and he was forced to return to shore.
When his team went to assess the damage the next morning they found the tiny vessel had sunk below the water in the harbour.
The boat was then badly damaged during the recovery process, and his support crew have sadly now confirmed that he has been forced to abandon his crossing altogether.
Mr Bedwell said he had needed to make some late “modifications” to the vessel and had come back to shore after noticing some “water ingress”.
In a video on social media, he said: “We had to make some modifications prior to leaving yesterday on the boat. At sea, I noticed some water ingress.
“Wasn’t happy with it so came back in for safety reasons just to check it. We're heading out to the boat now to assess the situation to see what we are doing.”
The mariner spent three years hand-building his fibreglass micro-yacht, which measures 3.5m tall and has a top speed of 2.5mph.
He had planned to survive on vitamin-based drinks and food bags made of beef jerky, raisins and fat during his passage, which were moulded into the walls of his cabin.
Mr Bedwell has spent his career making sails and delivering yachts all over the world. As a sailor, he has navigated around Britain and journeyed into the frozen reaches of the Arctic Circle.
Before his aborted trip, the mariner said: “You never know, you could hit an iceberg. The Titanic was considered unsinkable but it hit one, and there are a lot of icebergs out there.”