Attempt to row across Atlantic foiled off Barbados by wind

AP

Heavy wind caused an eight-member crew attempting to row across the Atlantic Ocean in record time to fall just short of their goal Thursday as they neared the island of Barbados.

The six men and two women were blown off course about 2½ miles (4 kilometers) from the island. They were rescued and towed to shore early Thursday by the Barbados Coast Guard after firing flares.

Leven Brown, the crew leader of the 18-foot vessel, the Avalon, said they had no choice but to halt the voyage when the conditions turned against them and needed to be rescued because they had no sail and no engine.

The international crew set off from the Canary Islands on Jan. 20. They were attempting to become the first crew to row across the Atlantic Ocean in less than 30 days, and also to raise money for various charities.

Members of the crew came from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil. Brown said it was a grueling journey, with food supplies running low a week before they were picked up by the coast guard.

Brown said they would try again. “We’ll be out next year with the Avalon and trying to go a bit faster next time,” he said.