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




"To those at sea..."   the third toast
(Russian seafaring tradition)

Rowers lost at sea

During one of my trips with Peter Bird and Kenneth F Crutchlow  we were in Russia obtaining official permission from the city council of Vladivostok, Russia, for Peter to row from Vladivostok to San Francisco. One of our hosts, Vladimir Maltsev, a former executive involved with Russian shipping, would always offer the third toast at different gatherings we attended with, " To those at sea..." 
  Not until Peter Bird was lost at sea did I appreciate the full meaning of Vladimir's toast. He was not only recognizing the efforts of those on ships crossing the seas but also the spirit of those friends and family that have been lost at sea. It's an odd situation trying to achieve closure when someone you love is lost at sea and there is no physical remains to be found. 

  Peter Bird was lost at sea June 3 1996, a full moon. We had his memorial June 30 at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, California ; another full moon, a blue moon. Once in a blue moon overlooking the San Francisco Bay on a beautiful clear summer evening over a hundred mourners at a memorial for Peter, I made a toast: " To those at sea..."

Tom Lynch American Coordinator of the Ocean Rowing Society Int.


1 Atlantic W to E (pair) David Johnstone GB Puffin 1432 21/05/66 03/09/66 105 days
-last log entry
Virginia Beach, VA. USA
John Hoare
2 Atlantic W to E (solo) Kenneth Kerr GB Bass Challenger ~2100 21/05/80 after16/09/80 119? days Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada
3 Atlantic W to E (solo) Andrew Wilson GB Nautica - 25/06/80 - - St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
4 Atlantic E to W (solo) Eugene Smurgis Russia Max-4 755 29/09/93 19/11/93 52 days London, England
5 Pacific W to E (solo) Peter Bird GB Sector 
1400 27/03/96 03/06/96 69 days Nakhodka. Russia, Far East
6 Atlantic W to E (solo) Nenad Belic USA LUN 2618 11/05/01 30/09/01 151 days Cape Cod,USA
7 Atlantic E to W(team of eight) Mike Johnson Zimbabwe Toby Wallace   29/01/16 15/02/16 19 days Gran Canaria, Spain
8 Pacific E to W (solo) Ruihan Yu China Taraduacu   27/07/19 27/11/19 123-125 days Sausalito, CA., USA

Editors Note:
Seven (1-7) ocean row boats listed above eventually made it to Land and were recovered .
The only "body" out of all oceanrowers lost at sea that was recovered, was that of Eugene Smurgis. His body was returned to Lipetzk, Russia for burial;
there is a Museum of Smurgis in Lipetzk and a street  was named after him as a mark of respect for his ocean rowing efforts.


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