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Rowing voyage has abrupt ending

JAN. 9 -- An English rower’s attempt to become the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate Antarctica failed Tuesday night only 30 hours after it began.

Colin Yeates, who is 47 and of Hampshire, England, set off from the Falkland Islands Monday, news reports say, on what he thought would be an 11,300-nautical mile, 10-month journey. Strong currents, however, dragged his 22-foot rowing boat ashore where it was smashed to pieces on rocks at CowBay, East Falkland.

Yeates, a former British navy man and father of seven, had been preparing for this challenge for four years, according to reports. He reportedly took cold weather gear and 1.6 tons of food, water, communications gear, solar panels, a wind-powered generator and other equipment on board. He said had been anticipating high waves, ice and fog.

“It will be the most difficult and hazardous lone circumnavigation of the globe,” Yeates said before getting under way.

— Jason Fell