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Cumbrian men trying to pedal across Atlantic rescued during major storm

Naked Cumbrian pedalo pair Kieran Sweeney and Callum McDonald are back on dry land after being airlifted off their boat when a severe storm took hold in the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic pedalo pair photo
Kieran Sweeney, right and Callum McDonald

Related: Naked Cumbrian pedalo pair well into Atlantic crossing

The intrepid duo were forced to raise the alarm with their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon and seek assistance on Sunday night.

They were on their third attempt at a mammoth charity challenge from Gran Canaria to Port St Charles in Barbados when they got into trouble.

Kieran, 25, of Whitehaven, said: “The weather just got worse and worse. There were 3ft waves, then 4ft and then 7ft and before we knew it the boat was just getting battered.

“It was scary. We were making good distance in the day but at night it was terrible.

“We capsized a few times.”

The pair were airlifted to El Hierro, an island in the Southern Canaries.

Kieran said: “We had no money, no water and no food. The helicopter that dropped us off had to go to another call so we were stranded.

“A doctor asked us if we were okay and then we had to get several flights, eventually arriving in Tenerife and then flying back to Manchester.

“We arrived in west Cumbria this morning.”

But despite the ordeal, the pair are keen to give it ANOTHER go.

Kieran said: “We’ve lost the £50,000 boat but it’s nothing compared to having our lives. It’s probably adrift now if it isn’t sinking. We are driven towards achieving our goal. We hope to give it another go towards the end of the year but we will have to wait and see.

“We’ve already begun designing a new boat and the sponsors who backed us this time will go on that. We’ve also attracted another sponsor which is great news."

Suggestions for the future have included having a three-man boat, rather than two-man. “We could get more rest ,” said Kieran.

The pair were raising cash in memory of Lydia Rose Sayle, a baby who lost her life after a heart transplant. The money raised was going to The Children’s Heart Unit Fund at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Have your say

Give up the rowing idea and maybe get on a bike instead, being airlifted to safety all the time is costing somebody alot of money for these rescues each time, I admire what they are doing but, once to fail ok, twice is telling you something, and 3 times is time to give up.

Posted by Martin Shaw on 16 February 2012 at 11:58

I presume the people who sponsored these guys are going to get there money back as the challenge failed and then can donate it to the designated charity themselves?

Posted by Worried man on 10 February 2012 at 12:47

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