JULY 1: PROSTABLOG NZ: NZ four Rowing for Prostate have done what every man with prostate problems probably wishes would happen to his prostate – disappeared.
However, no fears are held for the crew of the Indian Ocean Rowing Race entry, due to arrive in Mauritius next week in fourth place.
A statement on the race website was picked up by media overnight, making the race and its prostate entry prominent news for the past day.
The website’s theory is Prostate’s only remaining means of communication, a satellite phone, can no longer be charged, and since the (separate) satellite tracker gave up some weeks ago, there is no way for the crew to check in.
Race organisers have despatched the support boat to Prostate’s last known position.
The website progress map still has them with 553 miles to go, the position they reported during last contact on Friday.
If they maintain their average of about 35 miles a day, they probably have about 400 miles to go to the finish line, which was crossed at the weekend by leading boats Aud Eamus (eight) and Bexhill Trust Challenger (four) after 70 days.
Third-placed boat, Pura Vida, had fewer than 200 miles to row when they reported in this morning.
Here’s the official website statement about the “missing” prostate rowers:
Some time ago the satellite tracking unit on boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostate’ ceased to work. Since that time the team has been using their Satellite telephone to text and email their position every 12 hours to Race HQ, which was then manually entered to update the website ‘Progress Page’.
The Team had reported that their satellite telephone was not taking charge and using the phone was becoming more problematic. They were of the opinion it was only a matter of time before their satellite phone stopped working. It would now appear their prediction was right and since Friday 26th June the Team have been unable to make contact and Race HQ has been unable to contact the boat.
As frustrating and concerning as it is not to have an accurate position for the boat, there is nothing to suggest the boat has any other problem that may explain the lack of communication other than a satellite phone that is no longer working.
The comprehensive Race Rules require that each boat carries an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) together with a 406MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), both of which transmit a ‘May Day’ message via satellite, and if the Team were in any kind of trouble, or danger they would active one or both of these devices.
It maybe possible the Team can contact a passing ship using their VHF radio and request their position is passed on to Race HQ. The Support Vessel is currently on its way to ‘Rowing For Prostates’ last reported position and will sail down the anticipated track of the boat in the hope of locating them by either visual identification, VHF radio or by picking the boat up on their AIS () transceiver.