On 1st August 2009, the 4 man crew of GB Row set off from Dover aboard “British Orchid”, with the aim of breaking the world record for the fastest row around mainland UK. With a time of almost 27 days to beat, they headed clockwise along the English Channel to Lands End, subsequently heading northerly towards the south east coast of Ireland. The Irish coast line was chosen because the crew felt that their biggest mental and physical obstacle, the tide being against them 12 hours a day, would be weaker than the Bristol channel and subsequent central channel of the Irish sea.
As British Orchid neared the Irish Coast on day 11, they were caught in a
localized overfall near Tuskar Rock, which is similar to a torrent of water
funneled into a narrow channel of water. To their astonishment, they
witnessed a small plane make an emergency and forced landing into the Irish Sea, about 2 miles from them and about 7 miles from the remote Irish coastline. Rowing against the tide and flow of the overfall, they raced over to find pilot John O’Shaughnessy frantically waving his hands above his head whilst standing on his plane that had remained largely intact, and remained afloat just below the surface of the water.
The crew of British Orchid were filming a documentary as part of their
record challenge, and shot footage of the mayday call, the floating plane
with John standing holding on to its aerial and the subsequent helicopter
and winch man rescue. The dramatic footage of the rescue was broadcast by news channels around the world.
For more information check out www.thinkpossible.co.uk