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LOG 8: 18 September



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Log 8: Tuesday 18 September
“We are alive - that is the most important thing,”
Dom Mee told the BBC shortly after the accident.

Disaster struck on Monday night when Tim and Dom’s boat collided with a fishing vessel. Luckily they both escaped unharmed but their boat was badly damaged and they have had to abandon their journey.

The two broke the news to their base in the UK at 19.43 BST on Monday. They sent a brief message to team member Alasdair Keir.

It read: "Al, - Small problem, Both 100% ok. Struck by fishing vessel amidships, Crackers [the boat] beyond repair. Please inform all we are well and smiling again. We are both fine, shock over, no injury at all. Wait out for more info."

Tim and Dom had been at sea for more than four months. They had rowed nearly 5,500 miles and had another 1,300 miles to go to reach the USA. Dom told BBC Radio Devon about his disappointment and explained how the accident took place.

"A boat came towards us with no-one on the bridge and basically ran us down. It all happened so quickly. We saw the ship and tried to signal for it to stop and then we realised that there was no-one on the bridge and there was going to be a collision.

I managed to dive over the boat and was brushed along the side of the boat. I missed the propellers, thankfully.

Tim was trapped inside - when I leapt as the boat hit us - Tim felt it would be safer to stay on board the boat. He was trapped inside as the boat was driven under the bow. He was under water in the cabin in the back. The boat was driven through the water for about 500m when they saw me in the water. I was shouting at them frantically at them to stop the boat and to get Tim out.

When the boat stopped I eventually saw Tim and I was very, very relieved that he was still alive and I was relieved that I was alive too. It was such a shock and I think it is only sinking in now the enormity of what happened to us.

At the end of the day we had just crossed the three-quarters of the way mark and we were looking good for hitting San Francisco, looking really good for the record. But we are alive and I think when I was in the water looking for Tim, I would rather have Tim alive than anything else, so that’s the main thing.

It’s a devastating blow. Four and a half months of absolutely atrocious weather, we’ve had nothing but storms all the way. We just went through a severe tropical storm and a typhoon which was incredibly hairy and we thought that was the last of the big storms as we approached the Californian coast.

But we are alive. That above everything is the most important thing."

After a rescue involving fishermen at the scene and the US Coastguard, Tim and Dom are now en route to California aboard the container ship the APL Iolita. They plan to fly home to the UK on Saturday 22 September.

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