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U.S. man completes row across the Atlantic

Published: Sunday, June 29, 2014 12:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2014 12:25 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP)
Victor Mooney, 48, of Flushing, Queens, New York lays in his hospital bed June 27 after arriving in Saint-Martin Friday. Mooney set off Feb. 19 in a 24-foot boat from Maspolamas, Gran Canaria. His journey is being done in honor of a brother who died of AIDS in 1983. Mooney has tried the same feat three other times, without success.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Three times, Victor Mooney tried to row across the Atlantic. Three times he failed. One boat sank. Another lost its freshwater system. A third sprang a leak and left him drifting on a life raft for two weeks. As he planned for a fourth attempt, his wife made it clear it would be the last.

“ ‘I’m going to give you all the support you need, but this is it. We have to close the book on this one,’ ” Mooney recalled her telling him.

Now the 48-year-old Brooklyn native has finally completed the roughly 3,000-mile journey.

Mooney was recovering Saturday in the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten, a day after reaching shore and ending a 128-day ordeal during which he lost 80 pounds.

The trip was fueled by his desire to bring attention to the need for HIV testing and to honor a brother who died of AIDS in 1983.

“Not everyone has to row across the Atlantic. You can wear a red ribbon,” he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “We all have a responsibility to do something.”

– Wire reports

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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