Risk Assessment (Part 1)
To row across the North Atlantic Ocean solo and unsupported, from West to East, in an
unpowered rowing boat is extremely challenging and should not be attempted without
relevant training, preparation and experience. The North Atlantic Ocean is an unforgiving
and harsh environment; it can be extremely cold and the weather can be rough. The North
Atlantic is accepted as the ultimate test of a crew’s ability. To quote 5 times World record
holder and Ocean rowing legend Leven Brown “The North Atlantic is a gruelling piece of
Ocean. It is a new intensity and hardship from the trade winds route. The weather is much
harsher, harder and less predictable.” Leven also goes on to say “I know this team well and I
salute their courage in taking on this route. Their previous experience will pay huge
dividends. I know they have a great chance at not only a successful crossing but the record
The boat will, at times, be out of range of helicopters and life boats, however the chosen
route will make use of the shipping lanes, maximising the chance of rescue should the worst
happen. The route takes full advantage of the Gulf stream, there will be a temperature
sensor fitted to the boat to help it successfully navigate along the gulf stream.
The row will involve long hours night and day, this can lead to fatigue and sleep deprivation.
Normal day to day tasks such as cooking, moving around the boat, using the toilet or
cleaning the hull all carry their own risks. Each has been risk assessed and safety
equipment sourced to mitigate that risk.
Risks & Precautions
Drowning – Crew will wear lifejackets on deck with Personal Locator Beacons attached.
Serious injury rendering crew member unable to continue – The para anchor should be
deployed if possible and await rescue. EPIRB activation and if possible make contact with
Falmouth through satellite phone. When awaiting rescue, the Satellite phone will be kept
switched on, as well as closely monitoring the VHF radio. A Sea survival suit and life jacket
will be worn. The life raft and grab bag will be prepped should the need to abandon the boat
arise. The EPIRB will be kept easily accessible.
Risk of Collision at sea – There is always a risk of collision while making use of the
shipping lanes. The boat is fitted with VHF AIS (Automatic Identification System) and Sea
Me Radar. AIS and VHF allows a call to be made to a vessels’ bridge directly from a range
20 miles. The AIS system will beep to notify that a vessel is in range and will alert both
vessels if there is risk of collision. Sea Me radar works by picking up when it is hit by radar,
alerting that a there is a vessel with radar in close proximity. In return it shows the boat as a
150 metre object on their screens. Various items for attracting attention are also kept on
board such as, hand flares, a laser flare, a signalling mirror and torch as well as VHF
communication devices, these will be located in an easily accessible place in case the need
Becoming Separated from the boat – Staying attached to the boat with a harness and
safety line at all time and in any weather regardless is paramount to safety, regardless of
how calm the conditions appear to be.
Flooding – A manual hand water pump will be easily accessible on deck and electric water
pumps are fitted on the boat.