Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Servicemen suffer rowing setback

A group of injured British servicemen trying to row the Atlantic have suffered a setback after a vital piece of equipment has broken

A group of injured British servicemen trying to row the Atlantic have suffered a setback after a vital piece of equipment has broken.

The six-man team - of whom four lost limbs during service in Iraq or Afghanistan - are trying to raise £1 million for wounded soldiers.

The Row2Recovery team started at La Gomera in the Canary Islands and are currently around 1,000 miles away from their destination in Barbados - a total journey of 3,000 miles.

They were making good progress and had received widespread support, including a morale-boosting call from Prince Harry.

But the team's desalinator has broken, followed by their emergency hand-pump, leaving them without any fresh water at the turn of the new year.

Spokesman Sam Peters said: "In Army terms it's sort of mission critical, it's the worst case scenario bar sinking."

The crew are waiting for a support vessel to bring 350 litres of bottled water - but it is currently around 1,000 miles away and will take days to reach them.

"They are down to two litres of water a day," Mr Peters said. "That gives them around 16 days' worth, that's the absolute cut off.

"We think the boat should be able to get to them within eight or nine days but if weather conditions change significantly or anything like that then that's going to significantly slow the support vessel down.

"There's definitely a concern that it could stop them getting across. They are absolutely determined to finish what they started and it's frustrating for them that after everything they have been through, it may be technical problems that let them down."

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