British solo rower Martell bailed out in north Pacific


Sun, Jun 10, 2012 - Page 4

British solo rower Charlie Martell was rescued in the northern Pacific early yesterday after getting into trouble during his attempt to cross the vast ocean, a Japan Coast Guard officer said.

Martell, 41, was picked up by a cargo ship, at the request of the Japanese coast guard, in waters about 1,200km east of Sendai, northeastern Japan, the officer said.

The Briton, who aimed to row unsupported for 9,500km, issued a Mayday signal on Thursday after his boat Blossom was damaged by tropical storm Mawar, according to Web site, which was charting his voyage.

Martell “spoke briefly to his support team to confirm that he is in good shape and uninjured, following a 36-hour wait since issuing the Mayday signal,” the site said.

When rescuers arrived, Martell climbed up the ship’s ladder on his own and thanked the crew, the coast guard officer said, adding: “We hear he suffered no injury, although he seemed exhausted.”

His rescue at about 5am came hours after fellow Briton Sarah Outen, 27, was plucked to safety from the northern Pacific.

Outen was separately attempting to row solo across the ocean when she was also caught in bad weather.

Martell, who set sail from Choshi, east of Tokyo, on May 5 bound for San Francisco, is now heading to Vancouver, the scheduled destination of the cargo ship, the Japanese officer said.

Martell was aiming to claim the record for the fastest solo crossing of the north Pacific.