A four-man rowing team attempting to row their boat from Europe to Brazil had a close encounter with a cargo ship, narrowly escaping a collision at night.
The team is part of a group called Row2Rio 2016, attempting to row the journey from London to Rio de Janeiro ahead of the summer 2016 Olympics aboard their 8-meter row boat.
The incident occurred about a week into the journey, with the team saying that their boat came to within just half a mile of the much larger ship.
Team member Luke Richmond describes the encounter in a blog entry posted to Facebook:
Two nights ago I forgot to mention our close call. We were making good late night headway when our auto tiller decided to throw a fit and take us in tight circles. This wouldn’t have been so bad except at the same time a 180m cargo ship was within half a mile of us and crossing our path. Our AIS alarm (close proximity to other vessels) went off and in the distance the ships spotlight came on and they were sweeping the water looking for us as their alarm system would have sounded as well. A quick chat via the radio with the ship and a system reset on the Auto tiller and all was fine and we were on our way again. There are so many big ships out here that you really have to be on your guard at all times, especially in an 8m row boat.
The blog went on to describe that by the next morning seas grew to 15-20 feet as they neared the Canary Islands, making for a “scary yet exciting fun to start the day”.
During the row, the Row2Rio team will cover nearly 7000 miles by human power alone and completely unsupported, achieving three world records at the same time, according to the Row2Rio website. The team is documenting its entire journey on social media using the publicity to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Support, so go check them out on their website.