British Rower Plucked From Sea

Friday, April 07, 2000
A lone British rower on a cross-Pacific odyssey who had eaten nothing for two weeks but a flying fish was rescued from his boat after a Coast Guard search plane found him, officials said. Andrew Halsey, a 42-year-old bricklayer from Croydon, South London, was picked up by a Korean fishing vessel after a C-130 Hercules long-range aircraft out of Honolulu found the rower 1,200 miles (1,920 km) southeast of Hawaii. The rescue plane left Honolulu Wednesday morning after receiving an emergency signal from Halsey. The search plane coordinated the pickup while circling Halsey and he was plucked safely from his rowboat. "He was very weak," said Lt. Mark Harrison, commander of the C-130. "He said he hadn't eaten anything in two weeks and that the last thing he ate was a flying fish that jumped on his vessel." Halsey left San Diego on July 15, headed for Australia aboard his 27-ft., custom-built rowboat he calls The Brittany Rose, after his teenage daughter. But his 7,500-mile voyage was hampered by treacherous weather. He spent much of February rowing in circles while supporters at the Ocean Rowing Society feared he would be lost. Although they were able to track him daily, there was no way to directly communicate with him.

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