Tuesday 7 June 2011

Irishman attempting to row across the Indian Ocean naked was rescued on Tuesday after he was hit by a large wave and banged his head

Keith Whelan, 30, was trying to become the youngest man, and first Irishman, to complete the 6,000 kilometre (3,720 mile) crossing, but came to grief in rough seas off Western Australia.
He was picked up by a Japanese ship some 206 kilometres northwest of Geraldton.
“He was hit by a wave overnight and sustained a large cut to his head,” a spokeswoman at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told AFP.
“He made a satellite phone call to a contact in the United Kingdom who then contacted Australian authorities and we diverted a merchant ship to pick him up.”
On his website, Whelan said he was attempting the epic voyage naked to raise money for Keep a Child Alive, a charity dedicated to helping children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
“At first I thought this was complete madness but at the same time it appealed to me,” he said of why he was undertaking the trip.
“I am a risk taker and risking your life to achieve a dream is the biggest risk you can take.”
He initially departed Geraldton on May 7. But bad weather hampered his progress and forced him to spend time on the Abrohlos Islands, off the Western Australian coast.