Rowing Dutchman, tanker collide in Indian Ocean
Ralph Tuijn, a 36-year-old Dutchman rowing around the world, called off his circumnavigation after colliding with a tanker in the Indian Ocean May 30. The tanker’s bow wave overturned his row boat that was then pulled aft to the tanker’s stern wake that overturned it again. Happy to be alive, Tuijn told his base camp, he likely broke 2 ribs and a finger. His row boat was badly damaged.
He was on a 9,000 km, 120-day leg from Western Australia to Africa. His emergency beacon signal triggered a rescue mission in which a Myanmar-flagged merchant trader plucked him from the ocean. The accident occurred just over 3 weeks after Tuijn left the Cocos Islands. Two days before the collision he blogged that his trip was going swimmingly:
Yesterday was Day 24 on the ocean. I passed the 1,000-mile mark from the Cocos Islands. That means I average 42 miles a day. I started out at 12 degrees and am now at 11 degrees. Slowly but surely I’m moving back to 12 degrees. That’s perfect for it goes straight to Madagascar’s northern point and in the direction of Dar-es-Salaam. And that’s where I want to go. I’m in a fast current area and it is going to take me all the way towards Africa.”