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


Crew of Pink Lady "abandon ship"

August 8 2004

Today (August 8 2004) at around 2.45 AM, the four British rowers attempting the fastest crossing from St John’s, Newfoundland to Falmouth, Cornwall alerted the Falmouth Coastguard to the need for a rescue from their position at sea about 370 miles west of Bishop’s Rock Lighthouse.

The distress beacon on the Pink Lady® boat was activated and in turn Falmouth Coastguard scrambled a Nimrod. The boys are currently in a life raft as the boat has split in two in heavy seas. We now await further information about their rescue.

I have spoken to Mark  this morning from the boat’s life raft who confirms that the crew are ‘rattled but safe’.

Their current position is 49 28N, 14 30W. I will provide more news as I have it.

                                  Bob Barnsley, Manager of Pink Lady Project

ORS members and trustees thanks HM Coast Guard Falmouth, the RAF and the skipper and crew of the Scandinavian Reefer for their efforts in the rescue of the crew of Pink Lady®. Watch officers on duty were John Rosssiter (night shift) and Ray George (currently on duty).

At 8.45 am Watch officer George confirmed that all 4 crew members of Pink Lady® were taken on board Scandinavian Reefer and none of the crew were seriously injured. The Scandinavian Reefer next port of call will be Foynes on River Shannon, Ireland.

ETA August 9th 2004 at 

Ocean Rower sent to rescue ocean rowers

London ORS HQ
August 8th 2004

This morning Miles Barnett of RAF A flight Squadron was directed by HM Coastguard Falmouth to fly a Sea King Mark 3A helicopter to pick up the crew from ocean rowboat Pink Lady. Miles was in the 2003 Atlantic Rowing Race La Gomera to Barbados sponsored by Woodvale Events. When the Sea King was 150 miles off Ireland the Pink Lady crew were already safely aboard Scandinavian Reefer, and being as no one need urgent medical attention they were recalled to base.

Crew of Sea King were Pilots Miles Barnett and Bob Matson, Radio operator Stuart Guinnutt. Mark called ORS HQ to tell us of this incredible coincidence and said he hopes to meet the crew of Pink Lady someday to compare notes about oceanrowing.

Message from Miles Barnett, posted on FORUM on August 8th 2004

Bad luck to all of you.

I was one of the pilots flying the RAF SAR Helicopter this morning and by coincidence rowed across the Atlantic last October in Bright Spark. I thought that some of you might want to know a bit more detail of what happened from our perspective.

We work 24 hour shifts on SAR and so had been on shift since 1000 0n the 7th. In that time we had already flown 4 hours on two separate jobs on sat afternoon. I was woken at 0430 by ARCC at Kinloss with the news of the long range job and woke the rest of the crew and the engineers. We then spent about half an hour taking surplus kit off the aircraft to make it as light as possible to allow for the weight of as much fuel as we could fit in. The location of PL was very close to the limit of our range and so fuel was one of our overriding concerns. We launched at 0510 and made the 2 hour transit over to Castletown Bere which is a helo refuel site on the SW corner of Eire and with rotors running topped up to 6300lb of fuel. We launched again and started the transit out to the incident location and made contact with Rescue 51 - the nimrod which was providing us with top cover (locating the raft and assisting with our long range comms to Kinloss). There followed a long transit out in to the Atlantic whilst we monitored the progress of Scandinavian Reefer and their rescue attempt. Once SR had actually recovered everyone on board there was a lengthy discussion with SR, Falmouth, Falmouth's doctor, Kinloss, R51 and ourselves as to whether we were still required.

It would have been a straight forward evolution to transfer the four crew from SR to our seeking but we were still 80 miles from scene which with the headwind would have taken us about an hour. Our greatest concern now was whether there was any need for immediate medical assistance and as there was not we were stood down and returned to Chivenor.

Despite what I have read on the bbc website we did not turn around due to the weather (but that wouldn't make as good news)! In fact we had already flown through the worst of the weather and then had to turn round to go back through it again.

On our trip home we were further tasked to a man who had spinal injuries at the bottom of a cliff in N Devon. All in all over 9 hours flying and 4 jobs in 24 hours - I am now off to bed (back on shift 1000 tomorrow)!

Anyway bad luck again chaps at least you will soon be home and safe.

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