herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Miracle escape for Irish rower in Atlantic

A DUBLIN man who was one of six rowers attempting a world record has had a miraculous escape in the Atlantic Ocean.

Aodhan Kelly (26) and five British crew members were rescued from a life raft after their boat capsized.

The crew of the Sara G were taking part in the Atlantic Odyssey challenge to row from Morocco to Barbados in under 30 days.

They were 27 days into their journey and 250 nautical miles east of Barbados, when their 36ft vessel overturned at 11am yesterday.

After the incident, the crew managed to contact Falmouth Coastguard in Cornwall who co-ordinated their rescue with authorities in the French island of Martinique.

A spokesperson for Falmouth Coastguard confirmed that two merchant vessels had originally been sent to investigate the situation and to pick up the six men, who had moved to a life raft.

Overturned

Coastguards said the rowers were picked up from the raft, which they had lashed to the hull of their overturned boat, at 1.10am by the Nord Taipei, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship. The second vessel, the Naparima, was due to reach their location by 4.30am today, however, it was released after the rowers' rescue. A coastguard spokesman added: "[The six men] are all safe and well on board and proceeding to Gibraltar, where they are due to arrive on February 9."

The Atlantic Odyssey website names the crew as captain and world-record holder Matt Craughwell; father-of-four Ian Rowe (45); Aodhan Kelly; dad-of-three Simon Brown (37), father-of-two Yaacov Mutnikas and Scottish documentary maker Mark Beaumont (29).

Aodhan has been rowing since the age of 10. He has won eight Irish National Championships for Neptune Rowing Club, and has also represented Ireland at Junior and Under-23 World Championship levels and Rowing World Cup.

Aodhan explained on his blog why he chose to partake in the Atlantic Odyssey challenge: "I was raised by wolves in my local rowing club and now I think its time to put those formative years to the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance."

hnews@herald.ie

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