Hurricane Joaquin forces Sarah Outen to abort Atlantic row

Sarah Outen arrives in Adak after completing solo Pacific row. Photos James Sebright ENGEMN00120130924102437
Sarah Outen arrives in Adak after completing solo Pacific row. Photos James Sebright ENGEMN00120130924102437

Rutland adventurer Sarah Outen was forced to abandon her attempt to row the Atlantic solo on Saturday after warnings of being hit by potentially life threatening weather conditions caused by Hurricane Joaquin.

Winds of up to 60 knots and huge impassable waves caused by the tail end of the storm, combining with two low pressure systems were due to hit Sarah over the weekend. Together with her team, she made the decision to be picked up safely rather than risk a possible emergency rescue situation. She was approximately 1000 miles from the UK coastline.

The team informed the coast guard of her decision in the early hours of Saturday morning (GMT) and Sarah was quickly met by a nearby ship - the Federal Oshima – which is bound for Montreal.

She was safely picked up by the ship but her boat, Happy Socks, was lost at sea due to the complexity of the pick up. She is set to arrive in Montreal in about a week’s time.

Sarah was well over half way through her solo row across the Atlantic. But it has been a journey hampered by extreme weather conditions. She left Cape Cod on May 14 this year set to cover the 3000 miles of ocean to Falmouth, UK in about three months. However, the poor weather has forced her to row over 8000 miles of ocean to date.

The Atlantic row was the final major leg of her London2London: Via the World expedition where she planned to row, cycle and kayak around the world.

This is not the first time Sarah has had to be rescued at sea before. In June, 2012, Sarah was picked by Japanese Coast Guard when her boat, Gulliver, was damaged severely damaged by conditions caused by Tropical Storm Mawar, which she encounter during her attempt to become the first woman to row from Japan to Canada across the North Pacific Ocean.

After recovering from the ordeal Sarah successfully crossed the Pacific in 2013, at her second attempt, arriving in Alaska in September that year after 150 days at sea.