Bid to rescue storm-hit rowing team
|August 8 2004|
Four Britons aiming to set a new Atlantic
world rowing record are clinging on to a life raft in heavy storms after
their boat split in two.
Falmouth Coastguard is co-ordinating a rescue effort to secure the crew of the Pink Lady who are adrift approximately 300 miles west of the Scilly Isles.
All four men escaped to a life raft when their vessel was hit by very poor weather.
The crew of the Pink Lady - Mark Stubbs, 40, from Poole; Pete Bray, 48, from South Wales; Jonathan Gornall, 48, from London, and John Wills, 33, from Surrey, have been at sea for 39 days in their bid to row in record time from Newfoundland, Canada, to Falmouth, Cornwall.
Falmouth Coastguard is presently making regular checks on them by calling their hand held satellite phone. The weather locally is described as force 7 with heavy seas.
An R51 marine patrol aircraft has been scrambled to over fly their position and the coastguards have re-broadcast a mayday signal into the area to alert passing vessels.
Over the past few days the crew have weathered a 45ft freak wave from the effects of Hurricane Alex in the Atlantic, as well as further heavy seas which set off their emergency beacon.
Weather expert and adviser to the Pink Lady, Lee Bruce, had predicted that the crew would be subjected to more fierce conditions this weekend.
He said that Hurricane Alex would gradually weaken but "then may combine with another low-pressure centre as it nears Pink Lady, creating a large gale with its centre near the boat".
The team of four had set off in their shocking pink high-tech rowing boat from St John's in Newfoundland at the end of June. They had to pass Bishop's Rock Lighthouse on the Scillies by August 23 in order to break the world record of 55 days. They then planned to head to Falmouth and arrive at the National Maritime Museum's waterfront.
Ocean Rowing Society
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