A rower has been rescued off the coast of Land’s End after attempting a solo trip across the Atlantic in a homemade boat.
Duncan Hutchison set off from New York in May on his 3,500-mile journey to Lochinver, north-west Scotland. He was carrying out the journey in a 23ft wooden rowing boat and has raised more than £18,000 for the charity WaterAid.
Hutchison was rescued 863 miles off the Cornish coast on Saturday by a merchant tanker that is now taking him back to New York.
A post on his Facebook page said: “He will be devastated, especially with a technical problem rather than a physical or structural issue of the boat.
“Although he’s totally dedicated to completing the challenge, today marked 100 days at sea. He’s acted responsibly in the best interests of support services, surrounding boats and himself. Calling this in was probably the toughest thing Duncan’s ever had to do, but is testament to his selfless and professional approach throughout the journey.”
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said Hutchison reported that he was in difficulties at about 1am and was “battling 2.5-metre waves”.
A spokesman said: “HM Coastguard broadcast alerts to vessels in the area and the man was picked up by a merchant tanker who diverted to the scene. His 23ft wooden rowing boat is now being towed by that vessel.”
Duty commander Mark Rodaway said Hutchison had been picked up and was safe and well. He said: “We’ll continue to keep in touch with him via the tanker crew while they progress their passage back towards New York. We’re grateful to the tanker for responding and rescuing this rower.”