It's a small world, even at sea

A Hampshire yachtsman en route from from the Caribbean island of St Maarten to Newport, Rhode Island was rescued by the cruise linerCrown Princess, captained by his neighbour.

John Fildes, 32, put out a mayday having spent 48 hours adrift with a damaged mast and sails. But in a million to one coincidence the master of the 116,000-ton ship who picked up the distress call, Captain Alistair Clark, happened to live just yards from Mr Fildes, in Warsash on the Hamble River.

Mr Fildes was sailingDangerous when wet, the Open 40 raced by Lia Ditton in the Route du Rhum last year. He has abandoned the yacht and is expected back in the UK later this month.

Commenting on the rescue, he said: “I would like to express my deepest thanks to Captain Clark, the medical team and crew on board for their assistance in my rescue. I am truly grateful.”

Captain Clark said: “I was glad to be in a position to lend assistance, especially to someone who lives round the corner. It was quite a coincidence and just goes to show what a small world it is.”