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Nation & World

U.S. man completes row across the Atlantic

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.
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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