Expedition Pacific's Sonya Baumstein, the American woman attempting to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific from Japan to the USA, has abandoned her attempt due to bad weather


30-year-old Sonya Baumstein from Orlando, Florida, issued a distress signal on Saturday at around 2.20pm, according to news agencies, 155 miles off the coast of japan. She was rescued by a nearby freighter and transferred to a Japanes coastguard ship at around 9pm local time.

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Baumstein was planning to finish the 6,000 mile journey at the end of September and would have become the first woman to have rowed from Japan to the USA. Only three rowing boats have ever successfully completed the crossing.

Expedition Pacific Team lead said in a statement: “After long conversations, loosing a drogue, a critical steering system failure, and battling headwinds and typhoons, Sonya made the decision to abandon this year’s attempt. While we were only eight days in, the progress against wind and storms was slow and the next few weeks promised more storms and potentially even slower progress.

“As a team, we felt that combined with incoming weather, loosing a piece of critical equipment with a a single backup, it would be irresponsible to continue.”