BOSTON (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — A Scottish man seeking to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat abandoned his 3,400-mile journey after being rescued some 500 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.
The Coast Guard’s Boston office reported Niall Macdonald triggered his emergency radio beacon at around 12:30 a.m. on June 15 and had also called the UK Mission Control Center via satphone to report that after 36 hours in rough seas his 24-foot rowboat was taking on water. He reported that he had abandoned the rowboat and was aboard his liferaft.
The Coast Guard said that after being alerted by the UK center it sent an alert to merchant vessels near Macdonald’s position.
A Dutch cargo ship, Dolfijngracht, responded to the distress bulletin and located Macdonald around 5 a.m. The Coast Guard said that Macdonald was travelling aboard the ship to Canada.
On his attempt this year Macdonald, who had set off from Norfolk, Virginia on May 23, said that he hoped to reach his hometown of Stornoway, on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis in three to four months.
Macdonald’s failed attempt this year was his third try at the North Atlantic row.
His first attempt in 2014 ended when he suffered a back injury in rough seas just a few days into the trip.
In 2017 he called off his rowing plans after spending six weeks in New York waiting for a weather window that would allow him to clear land safely never arrived.
In April of this year he returned to New York and spent two weeks before moving down the coast to Norfolk to take advantage of better weather conditions.
Alba featured cabins forward and aft for storage and shelter and an open center cockpit.
Macdonald said in a release written while aboard Dolfijngracht enroute to Canada that even before leaving Norfolk in May he had decided that – having committed eight years to the project during which he had already failed twice and requested assistance from rescue services and other agencies on those occasions – this third attempt would be his last.