Den 70 år gamle legen Stein Hoff, som holdt foredrag for oss om sin kommende rotur over Atlanteren, måtte avbryte sitt forsøk den 6. august. Han har hatt forferdelig vær de siste dagene, og den siste stormen med 7 til 9 meter høye bølger og rundt 30 knops vind satt en stopper for Steins forsøk.
På kartet til høyre sees ruten de to norske fiskerne Harbo og Samuelsen brukte da de som de første, og eneste, rodde fra Amerika til Europa i 1896 - på bare 55 døgn!
Det røde krysset viser hvor Stein ble plukket opp av tankskipet Ludolf Oldendorff den 6. august.
Steins båt ”Fox II” ble slått rundt flere ganger, tre av årene brakk, roret brakk og han fikk en del lettere skader. Med bare en åre igjen var det umulig å fortsette. Han hadde fullført mer enn 3/4 av distansen og befant seg litt over 100 mil vest for Irland da han så seg nødt til å aktivere nødpeilesenderen.
Her er hendelsesforløpet:
08:00 Message from Stein Hoff: Emergency signal activated. Epirb emergency beacon activated. Position received by Norwegian rescue in Bodø
10:35 – Rescue status: Epirb is acive now since this morning. British Rescue are heading the rescue mission and have received a few additional positions. Currently no ships and/or planes are en route to his position. Nearest ship 34NM, but have been unable to make contact. No rescue planes available.
10:40 - Message from Stein Hoff via YB-tracker. Is alive and still in Fox II
10:45 - Message from Stein Hoff: Sorry. This is end of my trip. Lots of damage to rudder, sea anchor gone. Rolled around, and knock downs, many times. Aktivated EPIRB 2 hrs ago. Not dared to get out iPad before now, but was worried in case thought false EPIRB activation. I deeply regret this, no choice, hope the boat stands it till a ship comes. But I have a story to tell, even filmed rolling around - if I get off this boat with camera and stuff... Only minor personal injuries so far. Again sorry and thanks again for your support and interest. Probabely last message from "Fox II.
12:00 - New position report from YB-tracker: Thankfully the YB-tracker is still functioning and is together with emergency beacon EPIRP is also sending out a position (via Iridium satellite) each six-hours. Weather conditions are still extremely challenging with winds approx 26-35 kts and 7-9m waves, but to calm down tonight. Waiting from updates on rescue situation from NMOC (National Maritime Operations Centre / UK Coast Guard).
12:55 - Message from Stein Hoff & update from NMOC: Fox II rolling around. Upside down for several minutes. I am injured but not severe. Still has life raft ready if necessary.
NMOC . Still trying to contact ships in the area. No success yet. Organizing plane to send out to locate him and call ships via VHF to send to his position. One of the ships approx 30NM from Stein might have turned towards him they think (seen via satellite), but not certain. New update from them in an hour...
Great news! Tanker Ludolf Oldendorff (300m bulk carrier) approaching Fox II, 30nm from north. Rendevouz in approx three hours. Rescue planes now on standby in case he cannot be located. Weather still extremely challenging for getting Stein up on ship - may have to lay alongside him for shelter until weather/waves calm tonight. Updates to follow.
Message from Stein Hoff: Just got news that a ship is diverting to me and should be here in 2 hrs.
17.30 - New message from Stein Hoff: Been almost as bad as in my worst dreams. Was a bit better just now, but seems to get rougher again. Three of my four oars now broken, one gone completely. Cannot row without oars or rudder. Lots of other breakages after about 10 complete rolls. Some cuts here and there. Been only inside in my tiny cabin, just leaning out occasionally. Almost a knock-down just now! I am taking chances here with the iPad, but with the knowledge above and the EPIRB peeping and flashing away in the half- full cockpit, rockets ready and AIS still working, I am prepared to chance it for a penultimate greeting to you all from my little ship. Thanks for the company! I was on my own, but not lonely for 84 days. I got 3/4 way. Again sorry! A dream for me for many years, but not for me, now or ever... What an amazing achievent by my heroes Harbo & Samuelsen in 1896! 55 days!!
20.30 Message by Diana Hoff (Steins wife)
I have just spoken to Stein aboard Ludolf Oldendorff.
He is tired, a bit battered and bruised, a bit disappointed, but very happy to be safe and sound, and looking forward to some proper food! It was lovely to hear his voice after over two months, and I am looking forward to seeing him in a few days.
The ship is on its way to Canada, tomorrow I will get the details of where and when it will dock, and will probably fly over to meet him. So that is the end of his Atlantic crossing, he was unlucky to meet such extreme weather, but he has made a heroic attempt and I am very proud of him.
Like my son, I am very grateful to the 'redningssentral' in Bodø, Norway, the National Maritime Operations Centre in UK and the captain and crew of Ludolf Ordendorf for a fantastic rescue operation.
Many thanks to all. That is all from Martin and me at the moment.
I expect Stein will be back tomorrow with some more tales of his experiences in the storm.