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


September 3rd 2006

in October 1966 the mystery of the disappearance of the tiny fifteen-foot Puffin, crewed by David Johnstone and John Hoare in their attempt to row the Atlantic, captured the world’s headlines.
When ‘Puffin’ was found in mid-Atlantic, frogmen discovered in the upturned hull a journal which gives a day-by-day account.
The last entry in the log was dated September 3rd 1966. It is generally believed that on that day the crew were lost at sea during Hurricane Faith . . .
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By amazing coincidence on the same day John Ridgway and Chay Blyth arrived  in Ireland after 90 days 22.00h at sea

Last night from his home in Scotland John Ridgway said:
 'I am not one to look back. I always look forward. It has been 40 years ago since the row, that's a long time. In those 40 years I have thought a good deal about Johnstone and Hoare, after all they are dead and I am alive, is that fair? I don't know… In the book 'A Fighting Chance' on page 210 there is poem that I think captures the right spirit. I have reflected countless times about the row, after all you soon become yesterday's cockerel and tomorrow's feather duster'.

To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite,

to forgive wrongs darker than death or night,

to defy power which seems omnipotent,

never to change, nor falter, nor repent.

This is to be good, great and joyous, beautiful and free,

this alone, life, joy, empire and victory.

                                                                                  Percy Bysshe Shelley


Kenneth F. Crutchlow:
"For many years I harbored the idea to have a  spot on dry land where family and friends of the lost at sea oceanrowers could at last lay flowers and stand in silence with their memories. When I visited Kilkee to lay a wreath at sea on September 30 2002, the first anniversary of Nenad Belic's loss, I shared this thought with local Kilkee architect Tom Byrne and this prompted an emotional response in his heart.

" In six months on March 22 2003 on a high cliff of Dunlicky Castle, Kilkee, Republic of Ireland there was a dedication of the memorial to the seven oceanrowers lost at sea".

In his dedication speech Tom Byrne, Chairman of the Kilkee Trust, in part said:
"In these days of heightened world tensions and short tempers we are gathered in this place to commemorate REAL HEROES who attempted to get to know and understand the world, their environs, others and themselves in greater detail; perhaps they are the ultimate diplomats.

David Johnstone and John Hoare, Kenneth Kerr, Andrew Wilson, Eugene Smurgis, Peter Bird and Nenad Belic
are people who have achieved immortality in their tenacity. The world needs their spirit more at this time than any other."

Photo courtesy of Blath Byrne

The Memorial To Oceanrowers Lost At Sea in Dunlicky Castle, Kilkee, Republic of Ireland
Wild flowers from the garden of The Byrne Family