Brit cuts short rowing trip across Pacific

Roz Savage who aimed to be first woman to row solo across the Pacific abandons her boat after rough seas capsized more than once.

Roz Savage, who set out recently to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific , was airlifted from her boat about 90 miles off the coast of California by the Coast Guard on Thursday night.

Roz Savage
Roz Savage was confined to her cabin eight days into her voyage. Savage was airlifted by helicopter Thursday night. Roz Savage

Earlier this week, rough seas caused Savage's 24-foot boat to capsize more than once. By Thursday, everything was wet, many of her electronics were damaged and she had lost her sea anchor. After debating much of the day about whether to be rescued, Savage decided to cut her trip short. She was taken by helicopter to California, where she underwent medical tests, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday.

"As far as I know, she's doing really well," said spokeswoman Nicole Bilodeau, according to the Chronicle. "She's in good spirit and upbeat. Of course, she was disappointed and sad to cut her journey short just now, but she was upbeat considering the circumstances."

The 39-year-old Brit, who set off from Crescent City, Calif., on August 12, had planned to row across the ocean in three stages. She hoped to reach Hawaii in a few months. In all, she expected to travel about 6,700 miles, ending up in Australia in 2009. Along the way, the former IT consultant also aimed to raise awareness about the effects of pollution in our oceans. Her previous experience includes a solo trip across the Atlantic Ocean last year.

Savage delayed the start of her trip across the Pacific several times because the weather was not on her side. Once she did set out, she ran into rough weather, but Wednesday was by far the roughest. In a podcast on her Web site, Savage described what it's like to be in a boat as it's capsizing. The podcast's title says it all: "A Night in a Washing Machine."

Update 5:15 p.m. PDT: On Friday afternoon, Savage posted a blog entry about her rescue and the events that led to it. You can find her post here and watch a video of her rescue. Savage said she intends to return to her boat and continue her trek across the Pacific. In her post, she shared this exchange she had as she was rescued by the Coast Guard:

"You can always get another boat," said the Coastie, trying to cheer me up.

I was aghast. "No, I'm coming back for this one," I declared, and already I meant it. "And soon."

Roz, we have no doubt.

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About the author

Anne Dujmovic is an associate editor at CNET News. After working more than a dozen years in newspapers, including a seven-year stint at the San Jose Mercury News, Anne migrated north to Portland, Ore. There, she honed her pastry-making skills as an apprentice. Although she's returned to journalism, she still misses the free pastries. E-mail Anne.

 

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