UK rowers rescued after Atlantic storm wrecks boat

 

Four Britons trying to break a world Atlantic rowing record were rescued today after storms split their boat in two off the coast of Britain.

A Scandinavian vessel picked up the "Pink Lady" crew who had been clinging to a liferaft about 480 kilometres west of the Scilly Islands, Britain's coastguard said.

The rowers had set off from Newfoundland, Canada, at the end of June, aiming to make the 3,380-kilometre

Atlantic crossing to Britain in 35 to 40 days and beat the current 55-day record.

The crew alerted coastguards just after 2:30 a.m. Irish time and remained in regular contact with Falmouth Coastguard by hand-held satellite phone.

A coastguard spokesman said a Royal Air Force helicopter was on its way to winch skipper Mark Stubbs, Pete Bray, Jonathan Gornall and John Wills aboard and take them back to Britain.

Coastguards had sent a marine patrol aircraft to fly over their position and broadcast mayday signals to alert passing vessels.

Heavy storms had forced the rowers to go 72 kilometres out of their way, while in the first days of the challenge they encountered twice as many icebergs as usual off the Canadian coastline.