Atlantic rowing challenge ends in Ceuta due to bad weather

BY SIGUARD HAVELAND AND JULIAN BELLIDO
As many of you will know we had to abort our Atlantic Rowing Challenge on Saturday 6 March in the early morning. Having left Gibraltar on Friday we anchored off the coast of Ceuta for the night after encountering very strong currents when crossing the straits.

In the early hours the wind picked up to a point where we considered that our lives were being put at risk. The waves were in excess of 4m high and breaking, the boat was constantly on the verge of capsizing and – more importantly – we were dragging anchor and heading towards the cliffs.

We alerted Tarifa Maritime Traffic station and they dispatched the Salvamento Maritimo vessel “El Puntal”. They arrived at our location within 30 minutes and eventually managed to haul a tow line which we secured to our bows. They towed our boat ‘Herkules’ to Ceuta harbour.

We would like to express our gratitude to the crew of the Salvamar EL Puntal and to everyone at Tarifa Traffic. We would also like to thank the Gibraltar Port Authority for offering to bring us and the boat back to Gibraltar.

We had set our minds into this crossing. It will now be impossible to take up the challenge until the autumn. We will therefore take some time to consider our options.

Finally we would like to thank all our family, friends, well-wishers and sponsors who have shown great support.

10-03-10



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