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Tuesday, 2 October, 2001, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Atlantic rower search called off
The Lun
The Lun set sail from Cape Cod in May
Coastguards searching for a 62-year-old American rower missing in the Atlantic have called off their search.

A rescue operation was launched to find retired cardiologist, Nenad Belic, after an emergency satellite beacon was activated at about 2130 BST on Sunday.

The beacon of Dr Belic's boat was located 230 miles (370 kilometres) west of Ireland.

The search involved an area of over 1,000 square miles (2,600 square kilometres).

Beacon alert

Three Nimrod aircraft were involved in the search. They were stood down at 1600 BST on Monday.

Two merchant vessels which were also taking part were released at 1700 BST.

Irish long-range reconnaissance aircraft returned to base.

A Coventry-based coastguard pollution-monitoring aircraft is checking the area while on routine patrol.

On Sunday an RAF helicopter, scrambled from Chivenor, north Devon, found the beacon from Dr Belic's boat, but there was no sign of any wreckage.

A spokesman said it is possible the beacon could have been washed off the boat by accident.

Rescuers were trying to contact Dr Belic by satellite telephone, without success.

Dr Belic, from Chicago, is attempting to cross the Atlantic from the United States.

He set out on 11 May from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, heading for Bantry Bay, County Cork, in a 21-feet rowing boat.

His vessel, The Lun, is mostly enclosed to protect him from the elements.

Click here to go to BBC Devon Online
See also:

30 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Lone Briton conquers Pacific
07 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Starving rower rescued in Pacific
03 Dec 99 | Americas
First woman rows the Atlantic
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