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Solo rower's Pacific bid ended by broken rudder

15/06/2003

14:52:00

A British man who was forced to abandon his attempt to row across the Pacific after his boat’s rudder broke was picked up by Coastguards 400 miles off Japan’s northern coast today.

Mick Dawson, 39, from Boston, Lincolnshire, was said to be “very upbeat” after he was collected by a patrol boat off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at about 8pm BST yesterday.

His brother Stephen, 42, said Mick now hoped to make a second solo attempt to row the 6,000 miles from Japan to San Francisco next year. 

Stephen Dawson, a physiotherapist, also from Boston, said: “His plan is basically to look at the situation and take financial considerations into account.

“He wants to make a realistic attempt to try it again next year.”

He said his brother – they spoke via satellite phone earlier today – was “extremely well and very upbeat”, he said, adding: “I would imagine he’s also very disappointed, but he has obviously had time to think and take stock.

“One simple piece of stainless steel let him down, and there’s no way he could have seen it coming.”

Mick Dawson contacted Japanese authorities via satellite phone at about 9pm BST on Friday after his boat’s rudder was damaged in stormy weather.

Coastguards sent out a search plane, but it failed to spot him in heavy fog.

His boat was also retrieved by coastguards today and was hoisted on to the patrol boat, now heading back to Shiogama on the eastern coast. 

Stephen Dawson said rowing across the Pacific was seen as the equivalent of climbing Everest for ocean rowers, and had always been his brother’s “dream”.

Mick Dawson, who set off from Japan’s eastern coast on June 2, had planned to take between four and six months to reach San Francisco.

The Dawson brothers rowed across the Atlantic in the same boat in 2001, completing the journey from Tenerife to Barbados in 70 days.


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