Four crew safe after rowing boat was destroyed in heavy seas

At around 8.30 AM (BST) yesterday, the four British rowers attempting the fastest crossing from St John’s, Newfoundland to Falmouth, Cornwall were picked up by the Scandinavian Reefer in heavy seas about 370 miles west of Bishop’s Rock Lighthouse.

The distress beacon on the Pink Lady® boat was activated at around 2.30 AM and the Falmouth Coastguards coordinated a rescue.

The four men, who were wearing survival suits, are currently on the ship, after their Pink Lady boat split in two having been hit by very poor weather.

Shore Team Manager Bob Barnsley spoke to the skipper Mark Stubbs this morning while he was still in the life raft who confirmed that the crew were ‘rattled but safe’ and had suffered minor bumps and bruises. The weather locally is described as Force 7 with heavy seas. The crew’s position at pick up was close to 49 28N, 14 30W.

Bob Barnsley said: “On behalf of the crew, I would like to pass on heartfelt thanks to the Falmouth Coastguard, the RAF and the skipper and crew of the Scandinavian Reefer.”

The Pink Lady team – comprising Mark Stubbs from Poole, Pete Bray from South Wales, Jonathan Gornall from London and John Wills from Surrey – left St John’s, Newfoundland on June 30. The men were tipped to break the world record for the fastest Atlantic row from Canada.

The Pink Lady apples sponsored row was the culmination of six years of boat development and two years of endurance training in British coastal waters. The crew were raising funds for the British Heart Foundation.