Coast Guard rescues man trying to row from New York to Scotland

NEW YORK Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:53am EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A man trying to row across the Atlantic from New York to a Scottish island was rescued during a storm early on Saturday by a U.S. Coast Guard team who plucked him from choppy waters off Long Island, an official with the agency said.

Niall Iain Macdonald, 39, of Scotland was about 50 nautical miles from the coast when he sent out a distress call by satellite phone saying he had been injured, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Coast Guard officials said the pilot of one of their helicopters deployed to reach Macdonald was forced to turn back by a lightning storm, but a Coast Guard rescue boat carrying paramedics was able to navigate turbulent waters to reach Macdonald in his 24-foot (seven-metre) rowboat shortly after midnight on Saturday.

"He was being thrown around like a rag doll," Lieutenant James Provost, the captain of the Coast Guard rescue boat, said on Saturday. Macdonald was found bloodied with a cut on his head, Provost said, adding: "He was in a lot of pain."

Macdonald was planning to spend three months rowing home to Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis to raise money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health, according to his website.

The Coast Guard took Macdonald to a hospital in New Jersey.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Stephen Powell)

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Comments (3)
shadyj911 wrote:
At least he was contributing to a needy and appropriate cause.

Jun 14, 2014 10:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:
Rather than raising money for the mental health cause, it seems as though he should take advantage of their services. Idiot.

Jun 16, 2014 8:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
Maybe this fellow could have used some mental health counseling himself, before trying this stunt!

Jun 16, 2014 1:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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