Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walters have raised thousands of pounds for Brain Tumour Charity during 93-day feat. The duo was welcomed by hundreds of family and friends and thousands of supporters having completed the arduous 3,800-mile feat during which they have raised over £68,000 so far for the Brain Tumour Charity.
Backed by safety and communication specialist Ocean Signal, Ocean Valour rowers Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walters have arrived safely in Salcombe after an epic 93-day North Atlantic Ocean crossing from New York.
After setting off on May 3 and completing the journey on August 4, Tom, aged 24, and Lawrence, 23, are now the youngest ever team to row across the North Atlantic from mainland USA to mainland UK. The pair also set another world record on route after they rowed 112.5 nautical miles (129 miles) in 24 hours at the end of May, breaking the record by nearly 10 nautical miles.
The Ocean Signal devices, including a SafeSea EPIRB and two rescueME PLB1s, provided the pair with the reassurance that they could contact the rescue services if necessary during a journey which included encounters with the most severe conditions including 80-foot waves and a 75-knot Hurricane Force 12 storm.
Some of the most dangerous moments were when the boat capsized in mountainous sea swells, but, as designed, their 24-foot rowing boat, Yves, was able to self-right safely each time. They were also caught in an eddy of the Gulf Stream that pushed them in a giant circle for 10 days before they were able to escape and continue to make forward progress.
Suffering from the constant damp, sea sickness, tendonitis and salt sores as well as the routine aches and pains of 12 hours of rowing each, per day, Tom and Lawrence also had to contend with rationing their food and had less than one day of supplies remaining on arrival in the UK.
After stepping on shore for the first time since the beginning of May, Tom said: “It was such a great help mentally that we had that connection between us, our boat and the emergency services because of the Ocean Signal equipment. That peace of mind was very comforting, particularly during the horrific weather and capsizes. We knew that if the worst came to the worst, we had the means of contacting the rescue services by using either the EPIRB or our PLBs. Thankfully, the boat performed really well and we were never in danger of sinking, or becoming separated from the boat.
“We are very grateful for Ocean Signal’s support, as well as all our sponsors and supporters who have made this possible. It was overwhelming to see all the boats and people come out to meet us in Salcombe. During the most difficult and scary times in the journey, it was hard to actually imagine we would make it home, so we are very happy to arrive safely.”
The rowers had an Ocean Signal SafeSea EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Response Beacon) attached to the boat, and also carried two rescueME PLB1s (Personal Locator Beacons) on their life jackets and an Ocean Signal SafeSea V100 emergency VHF.
James Hewitt, Ocean Signal Sales and Marketing Manager, was among the supporters who gathered in Salcombe harbour. He said: “We are very happy to see Tom and Lawrence safely home and feel very proud to have supported them in this amazing adventure. They have both shown tremendous courage and raised money for a very worthy cause. It is a great achievement.”
The duo was inspired to embark on the unsupported crossing by Tom’s father, Luke, who died due to a brain tumour in 2012.