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Atlantic Odyssey update

31 Jan

Update from the Atlantic Odyssey support team

On 30 January 2012 at 11.00 am the crew of Sara G who were taking part in the Atlantic Odyssey challenge to row from Morocco in North Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean capsized.

Its crew included Captain Matthew Craughwell, Ian Rowe, Aodhan Kelly, Simon Brown, Yaacov Mutnikas and Mark Beaumont – all six members were safely evacuated.

The crew were 27 days into their journey when the 36ft (11.1m) vessel overturned just 520 miles from the destination port of St Charles.

Sara G was hit by a large wave 1.5 minutes before the rowers completed their shift change which was performed on a two hours on – two hours off basis. The wave rotated the vessel 180 degrees causing it to immediately take on water causing it to capsize within ten seconds.

In the next fifteen minutes the crew secured the life raft and attached it to the boat. They set-off their alerting alarms which initiated a response from Falmouth Coast Guard.

The crew did try to recover the vessel but due to the speed of the water retention, this proved unsuccessful.

The crew spent approximately three hours recovering on the raft before Matthew Craughwell and Mark Beaumont returned to the vessel to recover equipment to aid the rescue attempt.

At 1.10am, the crew were rescued by the Nord Taipei, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship and are proceeding to Gibraltar where they are due to arrive on February 9.

Matthew has managed to speak to the BBC. Listen to his interview here.

Thank you all very much for your support and concern!

Sleeping on cargo ship, heading to Gibraltar

31 Jan

Sara G capsized at around 11AM on the 30th of January, due to rough seas. Aodhán and the rest of the crew are safe and currently aboard Panamanian cargo ship “Nord Tapei” and heading towards Gibraltar. They will be arriving in Gibraltar on the 9th of February.

The coast guard said the following: “The shore contact for the Sara G managed to get through to the crew of the boat via satellite phone and ascertained that the boat had capsized. They had abandoned to the life raft, which was tethered to the capsized vessel”.

  • Please click HERE for this morning’s Heart FM chat with Ian’s wife
  • Please click HERE for a related BBC article

We haven’t heard from Aodhán yet, but when we do we will let you all know! He’s safe, that’s the most important thing!

Important update!

30 Jan

I am sorry to write that earlier today the Sara G capsized. Whilst information is scarce at the moment the crew have managed to contact their shore contact. All crew are said to be safe and well, and tethered to the Sara G in a liferaft. A cargo ship is currently on route to pick up the crew with an ETA of 1.00am tomorrow.

Further information will be provided once they have been picked up and greater detail can be provided.

Please click HERE for more details.

Last Monday rowing?!

30 Jan

Stuart and Natalie, from Heart FM, caught up with Ian this morning. Please click HERE to listen to the radio broadcast. Ian announced that there is still a chance for Sara G to catch up with the World Record. Weather conditions are key and will be key to make sure the guys will be relaxing on the beach next week Monday. Get up from your chairs and do a wild good weather dance!

The main question from Natalie was – how bad do the guys smell by now? Ian said that he didn’t think they smelt too bad, compared to the flying fish dying on deck. If that’s the measure, then we’re lucky there is a secret stash of after shave hidden on board!

At the moment the Live Updates are down, but we hope to be able to follow the dot soon again. Updates on Twitter, Facebook and here to follow.

On a magic carpet ride

29 Jan

At 11.30am today Ian (stroking in the picture) recorded the 31st pod cast:×200.swf?callInView=100391&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=125335. Amazing news he shared: The winds have picked up, the speed with it and although there are confused swells Barbados is coming closer and closer. As a result, banter is back on full throttle and morale picked up massively. If it stays like this they hopefully arrive in Port St Charles, Barbados, in seven days from now. Ian said that night shifts were as interesting as day shifts and that by now he’s covered about anything he can talk about with Mark, who’s rowing in the seat behind him.

I’ve also received an email from Aodhán, which shows that the batteries are recharging again and the guys are able to use the laptop again. He wrote: “As I type this we are officially on the home stretch in my mind the winds have picked up and we should have them the rest of the way. Still a chance of getting the record by a few hours but as usual we rely on the weather for that to happen. Don’t worry – all is good here. Fun fact – the Dutch ocean rowing documentary we watched – that boat Vopak Victory is our sister ship and is exactly the same design – designed by a Dutch yacht designer – bloody Dutch ;-)”.

The last week was the toughest week the skipper Matt has experienced out of all the ocean rowing he’s done. He wrote the following: “With the calm of the Atlantic Sara G has not only had her toughest week of the expedition, but her toughest week under my watch.  The crew posted as little as sixty nautical miles some days with a mixed bag of no wind and swells from every direction. Despite all of this the crew have battled on to make this small total. It has now made our world record attempt a massive challenge.  Morale is high and we hope for good weather soon, but it seems everything is against us at the moment!  The latest technical difficulty has been the loss of our electrical power due to the lack of winds and no sun for the past few days, this has meant we are now navigating the old fashion way like the old mariners used to. We hope to have better news soon and would like to thank everyone for all the messages of support we have received, on days like this they mean everything to us.  We will continue to give it our all till we reach Barbados and hope to see a change of fortune in the coming ten days”.

For all of you followers in Reading, check out the Get Reading newspaper you received in the post on Friday. There is a great spread on page 5 featuring Aodhán’s row and his fundraising efforts. For all of you still keen on supporting Plan’s Girl Fund (“Because I’m a Girl” campaign) please click HERE to donate. Any small amount helps!

Following the dot

28 Jan

Day 27 started today at 1pm. Great news today, the winds have started to kick in and Sara G is being rowed towards Barbados much faster than the last few days. Click HERE to follow the dot and see how close the crew is getting to Barbados.

The winds are blowing in the North West direction which causes waves to break over the boat, but that’s probably not the greatest of the crew’s current challenges.

Listen to Mark in his 30th pod cast about nappy rash, Caribbean heat and minor concerns about the batteries:×200.swf?callInView=100309&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=125248.

Ship ahoy

27 Jan

Today was the first day with no pod cast and no radio interview. There was little news but a small message Mark sent that winds picked up a wee bit, but not enough yet. Matt & Simon checked the hull again to make sure there was nothing attached to it that the crew was dragging along, as Sara G is not speeding along fast enough to have a chance of breaking the World Record. Please click here to see their progress.

There is hope still, but all lies in the weather for the coming days. Thank you all for your great comments. They have been sent to Aodhán and I hope he’ll be able to check them soon.

Best thing of today: the guys saw a boat in the far distance. It’s bizarre in a way to imagine the excitement which is caused by planes flying over or spotting someone else out there on that massive ocean. Keep at it guys!! Barbados is not far anymore!!

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