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Sloop drifts from Costa Rica to Hawaii

Sloop drifts from Costa Rica to Hawaii
HONOLULU, June 8 (UPI) --

Six months after a sailor prudently abandoned ship in threatening weather off Costa Rica, his 33-foot sloop was recovered 5,000 miles away in Hawaii.

U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Marsha Delaney told the Hilo (Hawaii) Tribune the "Chaton de Foi" was intact. The vessel's sails were in tatters and the hull had a healthy growth of algae, problems to be expected after a six-month drift.

"I'm sure there's a bunch of birds that are upset their home's gone," Delaney said.

The owner, Walter Teper, docked his boat in Oxnard, Calif., although it is registered to an address in Dayton, Ohio. Teper told the Coast Guard on Dec. 2, 2005, his engine started failing in bad weather, so he accepted a lift from a passing boat.

A ship spotted the boat 1,000 miles west of Mexico, Delaney said. It was apparently carried westward by trade winds until the crew of a fishing boat saw it southwest of Hawaii's Big Island.

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