Trans-Atlantic rower is rescued again, now vows to hang up his oars – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Trans-Atlantic rower is rescued again, now vows to hang up his oars

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A rower who dreamed of visiting Bermuda during his solo Atlantic crossing has been rescued after two weeks adrift at sea.

Victor Mooney, of Forest Hills in New York, had set out on February 26 on his third attempt to row from Africa to New York. Mr Mooney, who planned to raise money for HIV awareness, had keen hopes of passing by Bermuda on the voyage's homeward stretch. He says he still plans to visit the Island.

“My boat took on water at the start of the row and sunk,” Mr Mooney reported from home. “I deployed my life raft and waited 14 days without any food.” A water supply came from a reverse osmosis kit.

He said his vessel, the 21ft rowboat

Never Give Up, had been damaged in transit, and suddenly took on water shortly after he set out.

Mr Mooney arrived home on April 2 after being pulled from the sea on March 10 by the MV

Norfolk, a Greek freighter heading for Brazil that picked up his radio distress signal.

He had set out from Cape Verde in West Africa, hoping to trace the Middle Passage slave trade route. Two previous attempts had failed in 2006 and 2009.

“It was tumultuous on the ocean,” Mr Mooney said. “I had the elements to deal with, fish biting at the raft. I just knew I'd have a better chance of rescue if I made it to the sea traffic lanes, and thank God that was the case.”

Powerful winds carried him 250 miles off Cape Verde. Aside from some blistered skin, he said his health remained intact.

Mr Mooney, 45, added: “It's too bad I couldn't stop off for a cup of tea in Bermuda. But I'm still planning to come visit Bermuda with my family.” He is married, with four children.

This latest crossing attempt was his last, however: “It was a harrowing experience out there,” he said. “I wasn't prepared to die and I didn't panic, but I'm hanging up the oars.”

l Useful web link: www.goreechallenge.com

Victor Mooney
Victor Mooney is rescued
Rescue: Victor Mooney is helped on board
Victor Mooney
AIDS activist Victor Mooney
DIGITAL CAMERA

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Published April 09, 2011 at 8:54 am (Updated April 09, 2011 at 8:53 am)

Trans-Atlantic rower is rescued again, now vows to hang up his oars

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