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 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 12:50 GMT
Fears for disabled Pacific rower
Andrew Halsey trying to row across the Pacific in 2000
Andrew Halsey is heading for the east coast of Australia
Fears are growing for the safety of a UK rower with epilepsy who is on his second attempt to row the Pacific single-handed.

Andrew Halsey, 45, from Camden, north London, has told friends he will not return without succeeding in his bid to become the first solo disabled rower to cross the Pacific Ocean non-stop.

He set off 62 days ago from Callao, Peru, and has travelled 2,000 miles in his boat, the Brittany Rose, but only 400 miles have been in the direction of his destination on the east coast of Australia.

When he last made contact, on Sunday, he was off the coast of Panama ,where he has been stuck for the last four days because of adverse sea currents and winds.

Mr Halsey displays his boat
Mr Halsey has only 200 days of food left

Kenneth Crutchlow, executive director of the Ocean Rowing Society, said Halsey, a former bricklayer, had only 200 days of food left, which would not be enough to last the trip to Australia.

He said: "The only asset he has in his life is his boat, and life is not so great for him on land.

"He has epileptic seizures and he cannot get a job because of his condition.

"He lives in a council flat and life is a struggle. If he can get to Australia, his life would change dramatically."

The adventurer was the first disabled person to row the Atlantic in 1997, suffering two epileptic seizures during the voyage.

On his current trip, he has suffered four seizures.

Rescued before

In his personal log, dated 15 January, he writes: "I've been literally thrown around like a rag doll but I'm still in good spirits.

"I know I will reach the other side some time - may just be a few weeks later than expected."

His sister Amanda, 35, who runs the Castle Inn pub in Colchester, Essex, said: "He knows what is he doing and he is very determined. He will succeed."

His first attempt to row the Pacific in 2000 ended after more than 6,000 miles and 267 days at sea.

He suffered several hurricanes and two months without food, surviving on a few fish and the occasional passing sea bird before being rescued off Honolulu, Hawaii.


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See also:

07 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
17 Feb 00 | UK
02 Oct 99 | Americas
03 Oct 99 | Americas
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