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Bid to row the Pacific ends in rough seas

British rower and environmentalist Roz Savage’s attempt to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific ended after her 23-foot custom rowing

boat, Brocade, capsized several times in rough seas. The 39-year-old was 10 days into the first stage of the crossing — 90 miles off California and en route to Hawaii — late this summer when she capsized three times in 24 hours, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. After she wrote about her troubles on her Web site, an anonymous person concerned about her safety reportedly contacted the Coast Guard, which — despite her protests —sent out a C-130 airplane to find her and an HH-64 Dolphin helicopter to hoist her from the boat. Her vessel was retrieved a few days later, and Savage has postponed the voyage until next summer.

Brocade is built of carbon fiber and has fore and aft cabins with a single rowing station in between. Savage used the same boat to row across the Atlantic in 2006, completing the passage in 103 days.

When an Olympia, Wash., man discovered his $180,000 boat was missing this fall, he hit the ceiling — then took to the skies.

The man had trailered the 34-footer to be serviced when it vanished overnight, according to a report in the Olympian newspaper. He had given up hope of ever seeing the boat again when a friend reportedly spotted it at a gas station in Shelton, Wash. A couple was towing the boat with a pickup truck that was too small for the load, its rear end sagging low to the ground under the weight.

The owner chartered a small plane to track the vehicle, and it was spotted about 10 miles south of Port Ludlow, according to the report. The pilot made two low passes so that the owner could verify it was his vessel. The owner then called the Olympia police from his cell phone while the pilot continued to follow the pickup truck for another 20 miles. The couple eventually was stopped by JeffersonCounty authorities.

A day of parasailing in Florida late this summer turned fatal for one of two sisters.

The tow line on the 28-foot boat that was pulling them into the air parted, sending them and their parachute into a thatched roof shelter before they hit the second floor of a resort.

The boat was on the Atlantic and heading toward Pompano Beach when winds increased from 13 knots to about 35 knots, according to a report in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. The National Weather Service reportedly had issued a marine notice for offshore thunderstorms and high winds for the area about 40 minutes before the boat set out. The driver tried to pull the girls down, but the hydraulic winch wasn’t strong enough, according to the report.

The younger sister, who suffered internal injuries and neck and head wounds, died a few days later at Broward GeneralMedicalCenter. The older sister was released from NorthBrowardMedicalCenter with treatable injuries.

The title character in the animated Nickelodeon television show “SpongeBob SquarePants” is known for helping his friends, and no one knows that better than the crew of a 25-foot walkaround named Clam Juice.

At 7:15 p.m. Sept. 15, Clam Juice was sinking fast near Gloucester Harbor, Mass., off Ten Pound Island, according to a Coast Guard news report. Rescuers arrived with a dewatering pump and were pumping an estimated 2,000 gallons from of the boat when they discovered a large crack in its exhaust pipe. To get the boat ashore without sinking, rescue personnel suggested plugging the exhaust port. After some searching, one of the passengers aboard Clam Juice turned up a SpongeBob SquarePants NERF football. It was a perfect fit, and the boat made it to Browns Yacht Yard in Gloucester without incident. The football was returned to the crew in good condition.

“Luckily, SpongeBob got a day off, so he was available to assist us with this rescue,” quips Chief Petty Officer Paul Wells in the report.