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Illness forces disabled sailor to cancel trip

LONDON, England -- Poor health has forced a disabled sailor to postpone his plan to sail around the world in a specially converted trimaran.

Former Royal Air Force helicopter pilot Trevor Jones had planned the journey in the 1 million ($1.4 million) 60ft craft Inventure, which can be controlled by voice commands and is equipped for wheelchairs .

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Jones, who once rescued tycoon Sir Richard Branson from a ditched balloon in the Irish Sea, told the British Press Association it was "shattering" to make the decision to postpone his voyage because he was suffering from chronic fatigue.

Jones, 40, said: "I lived and breathed it for such a long time. It was the focus of everything I was doing.

"It has been a bit difficult to come to terms with the idea of not doing it. All I can do is try and get well and see how we go from there," he told PA.

Jones, disabled since he broke his neck during trials for the Royal Navy skiing team in 1988, said he hoped to eventually get back on board Inventure.

He said he been ill since December after completing his 2,500 mile, 3-1/2- month round Britain voyage in Inventure, accompanied by disabled sailors and able-bodied carers.

The "great success" of the voyage, in which four other wheelchair-bound sailors took part, proved that the concept of long distance voyages was possible, he said.

He had been waved off on the from Plymouth by round-the-world sailor Tracy Edwards.

Jones will run Inventure as a sailing facility for other severely disabled water lovers.

"It is the only multi-hull in the world which can be used by tetraplegic wheelchair users like myself," said Jones.




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