Stranded sailor phones a friend - his local licensee!

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Related tags: Atlantic ocean

A licensee has hit the headlines for coming to the rescue of one of his regulars - who was stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Alan...

A licensee has hit the headlines for coming to the rescue of one of his regulars - who was stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Alan Thompson was sailing solo from the United States back home to Chichester in West Sussex, when he took a fall on deck and badly injured his pelvis.

Six hundred miles north-east of Bermuda and barely able to move, he called his local pub using a satellite phone.

"He's a regular customer and a friend of about 10 years standing," said licensee Roger Pocock of the Bull's Head in Fishbourne.

Thompson had been keeping in touch with the pub during his trip, but Pocock got a shock last Saturday: "I got a phone call at about a quarter to eight thinking 'he's picked a great time to ring, right in the middle of a Saturday evening' but he was clearly in trouble, he sounded in great pain. He couldn't move or get up, or get to the radio, but he did have his phone in hand."

Pocock asked his friend for his latitude and longitude then got in contact with the UK coastguard, who liaised with their American counterparts to arrange a safe pick-up of the stranded sailor, who is now recuperating in the US.

Pockock says he is happy to have been of assistance: "We're a village pub, and we have a great relationship with our regulars. I have been saying to them 'if ever you're in trouble give me a call!'".

Thompson had been attempting to sail home to the UK after buying the new boat in Florida. The £17,000 yacht has now been abandoned.

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