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article image7-year sailing odyssey ends in tragedy just 500-km from finish

By Darren Weir     Sep 4, 2012 in World
Edmund Cabot, 69, who had spent the past seven summers in a transatlantic voyage, was knocked off his boat by a rogue wave on Saturday, just 500 kilometers from the end of his journey.
The National Post reports Cabot's body was found Sunday, just off the Newfoundland coast, by a search and rescue helicopter.
The 69-year old American surgeon is being described as "extremely cautious" by friend, Peter Ellis who says, “It was the last leg of a seven summers long trip that he had dreamed about for many years… I am staggered that Ned could have been a victim of this kind of accident. A more unlikely person for this to happen to would be hard to imagine. It just goes to show what anybody who’s spent time at sea knows: the sheer unpredictability of the oceans.”
Cabot, nicknamed Ned, began his seven-summer transatlantic odyssey from Baddeck, Nova Scotia in 2005, spending six to eight weeks at sea each year, travelling from Greenland to Scotland, Ireland, Norway and into the Baltic Sea.
In July, Cabot and two friends boarded the 14-meter sloop, named Cielita, in Iceland to complete the journey past Greenland, Labrador and ending in Baddeck. reports that on Saturday, Cabot came up from below deck to switch places with the helmsman when a rogue wave knocked the boat on its side. Cabot and the helmsman were thrown into the sea but the helmsman managed to hang on. His friends tried to throw him a rope but the boat was uncontrollable and they lost him in the waves.
The father of four was wearing a lifejacket equipped with a light and a beacon but rescuers say neither had been activated.
Ellis says, “He was not a cowboy at sea. He did not take the risks of the sea lightly, but he loved it.”
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