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