The drowned US Paralympic rower’s boat washes up on the coast of the Pacific island

The drowned US Paralympic rower's boat washes up on the coast of the Pacific island

The specially constructed boat of the 60-year-old “Rowoflife” was not recovered after her death.

Majuro (Marshall Islands):

The late U.S. Paralympian and ocean rower Angela Madsen’s boat was found washed up on a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands 16 months after she drowned while attempting to cross the Pacific.

Madsen’s body was found floating in the ocean last June, 59 days after she set out to row alone from California to Hawaii as the first paraplegic to row.

But the 60-year-old’s specially constructed boat “Rowoflife” was never recovered and spent more than a year letting the ocean currents drift.

Marshall Islander Benjamin Chutaro said it washed up on the coast of Mili Island, about 120 kilometers east of the capital, Majuro, in late October.

Chutaro provided AFP with images of a ship with Madsen’s name and “Rowoflife” prominently emblazoned on the side, as well as the distinctive jaw-dropping image of the adventurer’s boat on the bow.

Chutaro, who usually lives in Majuro but was visiting his home island of Mili when he heard of the discovery, said he had found further evidence that it was Madsen’s boat.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the equipment was ransacked … I found the EPIRB (Emergency Beacon) with its NOAA (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) identification number,” he said.

The boat had been fitted with numerous cameras to film the one-handed voyage across the Pacific.

Chutaro said he saw four or five GoPro camera mounts on the ship, but no cameras.

“I found out that people were taking the GoPros,” he said.

“I couldn’t find any of them. Hopefully none of the recordings were deleted. “

Ocean Macke

U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Roxanne Cabral and Deputy Commissioner of the Marshall Islands Police Department Eric Jorbon were contacted Monday evening saying they had not been informed of the discovery of the boat but would investigate it.

Madsen, a former Marine paralyzed by botched spinal surgery in 1993, was a three-time Paralympist who competed in rowing, shot put, and javelin throwing.

Her rowing achievements included crossing the Atlantic twice, circumnavigating Great Britain and traveling in the Central Pacific from California to Hawaii.

Everything was accomplished with partners, and she lost her life while attempting to walk the Central Pacific Route alone.

Madsen reportedly drowned after going into the water to fix some hardware on her boat. Relatives sounded the alarm after hearing nothing from her.

A merchant ship found her body tied to the boat and retrieved her remains, but let the ship float.

A peculiarity of the Pacific Ocean currents means that free-floating debris, including boats and drug stores, is often washed up in the Marshall Islands.

There have been numerous cases of fishermen or villagers lost after going on short voyages and ending up with the Marshalls after long stays at sea.

One of the most famous of these drifters was Salvadoran Jose Alvarenga, who made international headlines in 2014 after flying from Mexico to the Ebon Atoll in the southern Marshall Islands for almost a year.

Last December, residents of northern Ailuk Atoll discovered a boat carrying more than 180 kilograms of professionally packaged cocaine, which was confiscated and burned by police.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and will be posted via a syndicated feed.)

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