Atlantic rowers 'feared for lives'

New Zealanders Tara Remington and Iain Rudkin have been forced to withdraw from the trans-Atlantic rowing race after capsizing early this morning.

The pair discovered a leak in their boat on Saturday and were already taking on water when heavy seas caused the boat to flip. Their New Zealand-based manager Rob Hamill says the pair were bailing water from the bottom of the boat when what they describe as an "unusual" wave hit the boat.

Remington suffered head injuries as the boat flipped over and will require stitches.

The Atlantic Rowing Race is "one of the world's toughest nautical challenges and the ultimate test of mental and physical strength and endurance", according the the official race website.

The 2,550 nautical mile race started in La Gomera, Canary Islands on November 27 and will finish in Antigua, West Indies.

Hamill says the pair is extremely shaken by what has happened, having genuinely feared for their lives.  He says they are fortunate to have escaped relatively unscathed.

He says the pair was rescued at about five o'clock this morning by a support boat following the crews.

- NEWSTALK ZB

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