BRITISH charity claims it has lost up to £25,000 after a failed ocean
rowing bid that almost claimed the lives of two rowers.
Seasoned rowers and seamen, Colin Briggs and Bobby Prentice, capsized
957 miles into their bid to row to Barbados in the 2005 Woodvale
Events race from La Gomera.
They were rowing to raise funds for Move Ahead, a charity based in
Castleford, West Yorkshire, supporting people with brain damage.
Huddled in their leaking liferaft they were picked up by a yacht and
then ordered to jump back into mountainous seas to fend for
Eventually they were able to scramble aboard a US container ship and
taken to Gabon, West Africa, to await repatriation.
Move Ahead had to cough up the £2,890 necessary to bring Colin and
Bobby back to Britain, shocked and wearing just the clothes they had
been given by the crew of their rescuers on the container ship,
Patricia Herbert, spokesperson for Move Ahead, said: “We paid Woodvale
our share of the insurance bill as part of the £14,000 entry fee for
Colin and Bobby to join in the race. Then we had to buy the 27ft boat
that was specially designed for the event.
“Altogether we paid out close to £25,000 but we had hoped to get it
all back, and much more, through donations from upporters of Colin and
Bobby’s valiant effort.
“There’s no hope of that now.”
Woodvale Events has since gone into receivership and Begbies Traynor,
the Exeter-based administrator, has told Move Ahead there were no
funds available to reimburse the charity for bringing Colin and Bobby
Colin, a Thames lighterman who was 60 at the time of the race, and
Bobby, 54, a barge master to the Company of Watermen and Lightermen,
were left shocked and angry at the disastrous end to their journey.
“We couldn’t believe it when the yacht crew ordered us back into the
water,” he said. “And finding out that the insurance cover we had paid
for was not valid just about put the lid on it.”
“Besides that, we had lost our para anchor, which would have kept us
from capsizing but found out that the support ship provided by
Woodvale Events did not carry any spares.
“We were truly gutted that
we weren’t able to finish the crossing but even more so by the way
Woodvale Events behaved.”