Tags: sonya baumstein | distress | row | pacific ocean

Sonya Baumstein's Distress Signal Ends Her Hopes for Rowing Record

Image: Sonya Baumstein's Distress Signal Ends Her Hopes for Rowing Record
American rower Sonya Baumstein, from Orlando, Fla., rows a boat as she leaves Choshi Marina in Choshi, a port east of Tokyo, headed for San Francisco Sunday, June 7, 2015.

By    |   Monday, 15 Jun 2015 11:16 AM

Sonya Baumstein's distress signal ended the American's hopes of becoming the first woman to row across the Pacific Ocean solo over the weekend.

The 30-year old Baumstein was eight days into her nautical venture from Japan to California Saturday when she felt distressed, like “things weren’t going right,” The Associated Press reported. She proceeded to send signals out from her rowboat until she was rescued by a passing freighter and later a Japanese Coast Guard vessel only 155 miles into her 6,000-mile goal.

Andrew Cull, Baumstein’s campaign manager, announced that “the past eight days have been interesting and we knew we were taking a chance with the weather and late season, concerned more about the weather upon arrival in California in the fall," reported CNN.

Cull’s weather concerns proved to be valid when Baumstein faced oncoming headwinds, typhoons, and storms. The inclement weather made it “impossible” to see other ships, Cull said. Baumstein had also lost a part of the boat’s steering system, which would have added further danger to the trip.

Before her rescue, Baumstein reportedly nearly collided with a fishing vessel. She was able to light a flare just in time.

"All's well. After a hellacious first few days. Almost had a game ender with fish boat. Flare + Being prepared saved my life!" she texted using satellite connection, according to CNN. Wave forecasts predicted rough waters and continued bad weather when Baumstein called for help.

Although she had hoped to arrive in San Francisco by late September, the Japanese Coast Guard dropped her in Kita Ibaraki, a port city only 93 miles from Tokyo. There, Baumstein ended her attempt to break a world-record with her 23-foot long, bright green, carbon rowboat.

Baumstein has not announced whether she will try again, but she had been prepared to make the full journey. She carried 1,200 pounds of freeze-dried food, 180 high-carbohydrate drink supplements, and olive oil to drink in order to retain weight, ABC News reported.

This was not Baumstein’s first adventure. In 2011 she rowed across the Atlantic Ocean from Canaries to Barbados. In 2012 she biked from the U.S.-Mexico border to Seattle and kayaked from Seattle to Alaska, and in 2013 she became the first person to SUP paddle from the Bering Strait to Alaska, according to her website.

“It’s not always one foot in front of the other . . . It’s navigating the unknown, and there’s something really incredible about that,” Baumstein told ABC.

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Sonya Baumstein's distress signal ended the American's hopes of becoming the first woman to row across the Pacific Ocean solo over the weekend.
sonya baumstein, distress, row, pacific ocean
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2015-16-15
Monday, 15 Jun 2015 11:16 AM
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