French rower rescued 50 miles off Ptown

Trans-Atlantic rower turns to Coast Guard for help

BOSTON - The 26-year-old who set out alone to row his custom-made boat across nearly 4000 miles of open ocean Wednesday was rescued by the Coast Guard Thursday night 50 miles east of Provincetown. Frenchman Charlie Girard boasted he had the physical strength, the mental toughness and the maritime technology to row 3,600 miles across the steely Atlantic, from Cape Cod to France, faster than any human in history. Turns out, he lacked all three.

Click to see video of rescue A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched at 8:15, and as shown on right hoisted Girard to safety about 9 p.m.Charlie Girard was in distress and caught in 5-8 foot seas and 15-knot winds in his 23-foot boat.  Click the image to see the CG video of rescue.

He expressed his desire to be taken off the boat to an acquaintance of his, Richard Williams of Orleans via a satellite phone.

Williams contacted Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England about 7:20 p.m. and said Girard, "had taken seven or eight rolls and was ready to come off."

A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched at 8:15, and hoisted Girard to safety about 9 p.m.

Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class John Hughes, the onboard medical corpsman said, "he was thrown around quite a bit and said he slammed into the side of the boat and that his lower back was bothering him."

Below on right he was taken to Air Station Cape Cod and was transferred to an awaiting ambulance.

The Coast Guard issued a safety marine information broadcast to notify other mariners of the adrift rowboat.

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