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Round-the-world trip cut short

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A former soldier who hoped to spend his retirement sailing around the world is picking up the pieces after his expedition - which was not covered by travel insurance - failed when the boat was shipwrecked.

Paul Bourne, 57, lost not only his £60,000 boat but also all his belongings when the 40ft vessel hit a reef off the coast of Bermuda.

Although he had twice crossed the Atlantic single-handedly, Mr Bourne was unable to get travel insurance because such a trip, undertaken in hurricane season, was deemed too big a risk.

He flew home to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, after generous locals donated money to raise the boat, feed and clothe him and pay for his passage home.

The veteran, who served for 20 years in the Gloucestershire Regiment, told the Gloucestershire Echo: "What has happened is just a nightmare really. I didn't just lose the boat but also my home. Everything I had was on the boat - all my money was invested in it. My home, my dream has gone.

"I didn't want to be in this situation at my stage in life. I haven't got over it yet. I had hoped to see the world."

© The Press Association 2008