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(4/7/13) at 9:45pm EDT, the courageous crew of the "James Robert Hanssen" set foot on dry land in San Juan, Puerto Rico, reunited with family members after a harrowing 12 hours at sea in a life raft. 73 days and 2,700 nautical miles into a first-ever attempt at a mainland Africa to mainland North America unassisted rowing expedition, weather conditions were finally at their best for rowing.
With Jordan and Markus at the oars with perfect tailwinds and following swells, opposing currents created two successive "standing waves" which pitched and rolled the boat into a position that would permanently capsize it for good. Just over 24 hours ago, at 6:50am EDT, the rescue beacon was activated and the rowers spent the next 6 hours trying to manually right the ocean rowboat. Unsuccessful, they recognized the need to collect supplies in their life raft and hunker down, waiting for help to arrive.
A Coast Guard C-130 airplane was deployed and made visual and radio contact with the overturned boat and life raft. The ocean rowboat suffered a catastrophic capsize event, unable to self-right as designed. The crew is arriving at 6pm Eastern Daylight Time aboard the commercial vessel Heijan. The four rowers were able to safely deploy their life raft and are awaiting rescue by a passing commercial vessel. Many years of preparation and training went into the trans-Atlantic ocean row to mitigate the risks involved.
Fortunately careful planning including all the details from life vests to PLBs led in a successful rescue. We are extremely grateful for the services of the United States Coast Guard, and all other agencies involved in the successful location and rescue of the four rowers. They put their lives at risk to save ours. Gratefully, Jordan Hanssen, Adam Kreek, Patrick Flemming, Marcus Pukonen Photo Credit: Erinn J Hale Photography www.erinnjhale.com Learn more about OAR Northwest at www.oarnorthwest.com
Thank you ACR!
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