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Heartbroken Solo Rower Seeks Return of Abandoned Boat Still Adrift

23rd June 2014
Heartbroken Solo Rower Seeks Return of Abandoned Boat Still Adrift

#oceanrower – British solo rower, Daryl Farmer, who was taking part in the Great Pacific Race rowing from California to Hawaii, was forced to call for assistance four days after beginning the race, having become dangerously dehydrated from sea sickness.

Support boat OPA located him and took Daryl and his boat 'Bojangles' (Bo) under tow on Saturday 21 June approximately 20nm off the coast of California. Heavy seas and high winds unfortunately snapped both ropes, leading to a dramatic man overboard situation for one of OPA's crew. This situation left them no choice but to transfer Daryl from his boat to OPA and return him to Monterey safely, but leaving Bo adrift.

39 year old Daryl, who took on the challenge of rowing 2400 miles single-handed from California to Hawaii to raise awareness of the need for ocean conservation, is now refusing to return to the UK until he is reunited with his boat. The race is now on to find her again and bring her back in - hopefully in one piece.

Marine traffic around Bo's last known position of 35 43' 38.40"N, 121 59' 23.4"W as of 00:01 PDT 23 June is being asked to keep a look out for the vessel and report any sighting immediately, using degrees, minutes, seconds format, to Peggy West-Stap on 831.901.3833.

Bo is 24ft x 6ft, silver cabins fore and aft; deck is light blue with 11 visible black circular hatch covers with red rim; there is also a yellow hi vis strip running in part across the bow and stern cabins. If inverted, she is black anti-fouled. She carries the #6 on port and starboard sides. There should be a steel light blue rudder attached.

Three marine conservation organisations are helping to coordinate the search for 'Bo'. Pete Bethune from Earthrace Conservation is coordinating GPS positions from his home in New Zealand; Peggy West-Stap from Monterey Bay Marine Life Studies is liaising with the US Coastguard and supplying local knowledge and support for Daryl and partner Sabine Grainger; Captain Chris Wade, who skippers Shark Boat Sea Watch, a shark research vessel that works with the Shark Research Institute, is en route to the search area from Los Angeles.

Bo is one of the strongest, most proven and sought-after ocean rowing boats in the world, made from a special carbon/Kevlar foam sandwich construction. She was built with the Pacific in mind and already in the record books as the first and only rowing boat to successfully complete a crossing of the Pacific West to East in 2009 with her crew of Mick Dawson and Chris Martin (Race Director for Great Pacific Race 2014).

Daryl said, "I'm heartbroken that I couldn't continue in the race and leaving Bo out there was the worst feeling in the world. I'm safe though, and want to say a huge and sincere thanks to the crew of OPA for braving those conditions to come and get me, a truly humbling experience for which I will be forever grateful. All I want to do now is find Bo and bring her home."

Published in Coastal Rowing Team

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