Solo rower Sarah Outen's boat travelled some 2,000 km to return to its owner.
British adventurer Sarah Outen has been reunited with her rowboat Happy Socks after the Castletownbere RNLI crew launched their Anette Hutton lifeboat last week to recover the craft just metres from shore near Cork in West Ireland.
The round-the-world adventurer who spent four years circumnavigating the northern hemisphere by boat and bicycle tweeted an image of herself with crew from Castletownbere RNLI, saying “With the crew… and the lovely Happy Socks herself. Happy days!”
Outen expressed her gratitude in an interview with Irish media, and explained how the boat rescuers knew the craft was hers:
“I am just so grateful to the Castletownbere lifeboat crew – they have made me super, super happy. I am just so delighted to get Happy Socks back because when I abandoned her, it felt [as if] I was abandoning a friend,” said Ms Outen.
“I was sad to leave her, but equally it was the only thing I could do. But I left a message inside the cabin which said I abandoned this boat at this time and at this position, as well as my contact details, and that’s how Castletownbere RNLI contacted me.”
7 January 2016
British adventurer Sarah Outen, the first woman and youngest person to row solo across both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, has been found by her beloved Atlantic rowboat Happy Socks.
Happy Socks tracked down its owner after three months and some two thousand kilometres spent adrift at sea. The boat had been thought lost in a hurricane, but was recovered by the RNLI off the West Irish coast.
Outen was forced to abandon her boat a few hundred kilometres north of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, ahead of Hurricane Joaquin in early October.
The RNLI contacted Outen to alert her that the vessel had been recovered, and in a post on her website, the rower expressed her joy at the impending reunion.
“We are making plans to go and retrieve her and shake the hands of the crew that picked her up, and give her a huge welcome home hug,” Outen said.
“To me, it feels like a friend has come back from the dead. It is very special and very emotional and I am very grateful.”
In what was their first call out of 2016, the volunteer lifeboat crew recovered the boat in Force Seven winds and large swell. Finding Happy Socks unmanned, the crew took the vessel under tow and brought her safely to Castletownbere.
Outen abandoned Happy Socks while rowing from Cape Cod in the United States to London on the final leg of a four-year journey to row, bike and kayak the northern hemisphere, inspiring children and fundraising for charities. She was picked up by Canadian vessel, Federal Oshima.
The British adventurer Sarah Outen MBE successfully completed her London2London expedition in November having set out from Tower Bridge in April 2011. Outen’s adventure saw her cover some 25,000 miles, enduring extreme conditions in remote environments, including the hurricane in the Atlantic last year which forced a pre-emptive evacuation after 143 days at sea.
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