Mark Beaumont, had to be rescued from the Atlantic Ocean yesterday when their boat was capsized by a large wave. The group had been out on the water for 27 days at the time, and were hoping to set a new speed record for rowing from Morocco to Barbados in the Caribbean.
Beaumont, whom we've followed as he rode his bike around the world and then north-to-south across the Americas, says that the "freak" wave hit the boat while the crew was in the middle of a change in shifts. Typically, ocean rowing teams row non-stop, 24-hours per day, with crew members taking two-hour shifts or so. As a result of the poor timing of the wave, the hatch on the boat was open, contributing to the accident.
The entire squad was thrown into the water wearing just t-shirts and shorts. It took them about ten minutes to locate their emergency locator beacon, but once they set it off, it was only a matter of time before a ship could come and rescue them. Eventually they were plucked from the water by the tanker Nord Taipei, which is now making way for Gibraltar. The rowing team is expected their on February 9th.
At the time of the accident, the crew was just 520 miles shy of their destination, which makes the capsizing of their boat all the more hard to take. They had completed roughly 3000 miles of their journey and while it was going to be tough to complete the voyage in just 30 days, it is still disappointing to not even get the chance to try.
Thankfully, everyone survived and without any injuries. This could have been a much more tragic story, but the crew will live to row another day.