Independent blogger rescued after boat overturns in Atlantic

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Six men have been saved from drowning after their boat capsized as they were days away from entering the record books as the first crew to row across the Atlantic in a month.

Click here or on "View Gallery" to view the Sara G's journey in pictures

Mark Beaumont, 29, who had been blogging the voyage for The Independent, was among the crew aboard Sara G. The men spent several hours adrift in a life raft 520 miles short of their destination, the port of St Charles in Barbados. They began the 2,500-mile journey in Morocco on 2 January.

They crew was rescued by a Panamanian cargo ship, the Nord Taipei, in the early hours of this morning, after activating a electronic distress beacon that was picked up by Falmouth Coastguard. The Cornish station, working with authorities in Martinique, diverted the 32,000 ton container ship to rescue the men.

The skipper of the Sara G, Matt Craughwell described how the 11 metre-long craft took on water after being tossed, stern up, by two large waves.

“It happened so quickly. Three of us were inside the cabins when the boat went over. She was taking on water very very quickly,” he told the BBC.

“All six crew members made it out and for the next fifteen minutes we battled to get the life rafts out and secured to the boats and set off one of the emergency evacuation signals... To be honest frightened is a word I wouldn't use. It was a flight or fight response from everybody.”

A statement from the Atlantic Odyssey support team gave further details, explaining that a wave rotated Sara G by 180 degrees, "causing it to immediately take on water and capsize within ten seconds."

The statement continued: "In the next fifteen minutes the crew secured the life raft and attached it to the boat. They set-off their alerting alarms which led to 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."

In his blog, Mr Beaumont has described a gruelling challenge. The men have been rowing in shifts of two hours on, two hours off, 24 hours a day. For nearly a month none of the crew members have slept for more than two hours at a time.

"This is, without comparison the toughest expedition of my life," wrote Mr Beaumont, who in 2008 cycled round the world in a record-breaking 194 days.

Although weather conditions had hampered progress, the crew was within reach of breaking the 30-day record, considered the “four minute mile” of ocean rowing.

However, Mr Craughwell said that it was “too early for disappointment” and that the crew were above all grateful to be alive.

The crew also included Ian Rowe, a 45-year-old father of four; Aodhan Kelly, 26, from Dublin, Ireland; Simon Brown, 37, a father of three from Wiltshire and father-of-two, Yaacov Mutnikas from Berkshire.

In December British rower Tom Fawcett and his Dutch-Russian companion Tom Sauer had to be rescued when their vessel was overturned by a wave.

Mr Craughwell paid tribute to the rescuers, saying that the co-ordination of the mission went “very well.”

To read Mark Beaumont's blog for The Independent, click here.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there