The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records


Saturday 18 May 2002

Capsized Indian Ocean rowers are rescued

Simon Chalk and Bill Greaves were just two days into their ocean rowing attempt

Two Devon rowers who spent a night clinging to the hull of their overturned boat off the West Australia coast have been rescued.

Simon Chalk and Bill Greaves, both from Newton Abbot, were just two days into an attempt to become the first pair to row non-stop across the Indian Ocean.

A merchant ship managed to pick them up in heavy seas on Saturday morning.

The Devon men were trying to row in their 7m rowing boat from Western Australia to Madagascar, but they ran into stormy seas.

Their boat's automatic distress beacon was set off and the Australian Search and Rescue Service launched an aerial search.
The two men were later spotted on top of their capsized vessel about 60 miles off the coast. A merchant ship was contacted to pick the men up.

Due to bad weather, it was not clear whether the carrier would be able to reach the men, but they were brought safely on board.
The two men were trying to row more than 4,000 miles from Kalbarri in Western Australia to Reunion Island off the coast of Madagascar in 60 days, trying to beat the 64-day record which was set in 1971.

Simon's mother, Lesley Bowden, said: "We're relieved that they're safe, but absolutely devastated that they're not going to achieve what they wanted to do. I'm sure they must be so disappointed."

It is thought they spent up to 12 hours on top of their capsized vessel. Simon Chalk said of being in the water: "I was scrambling back up and he was scrambling, and we were helping each other to stay awake and keep with it really."

row boat

It is thought the men spent up to 12 hours on top of their capsized vessel

Both men are now back on dry land in Western Australia after their ordeal.

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