A team of British women were rescued last night, after their boat capsized and they lost control of their oars. The crew were left stranded for over 16 hours after sending a distress signal at 9:08am on Saturday.
Gemma Chalk, Clare Lanyon, Jane McIntosh and Olivia Wilson were aiming to break the women’s speed record for rowing about 3000 miles across the Atlantic between Gran Canaria and Barbados. However, the crew were forced to retire for their charity attempt after their boat capsized several times and they lost control of thier global positioning system.
The team, known as Oceanus rowing, are said to be well and on-board a bulk carrier headed for Canada.
“The rowers were an extremely long way from land with no other vessels in the immediate vicinity,” said UK Coastguard duty controller Ian Guy. “We received several responses to our mayday request, the nearest vessel being 90 nautical miles away, they quickly diverted and set course to the stricken rowers, taking 11 hours to reach them.
“This shows you how important it is to be prepared for your voyage and have several means of contacting the coastguard or raising an alarm, even if you are not in UK waters”.
The crew began their attempt on the 26th January to raise money for Barnardo’s and Forces Children’s trust.
Oceanus’s official website said the crew had deemed it unwise to continue their row. “Following damage to Fire Ant caused during a capsize incident yesterday and after discussions with shore support and UK Coastguard, the girls have decided it is unwise to continue with their attempt to row across the Atlantic ocean”.