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13 December 2013, 05:33
A team of rowers, including a man from Worthing, who had to be airlifted from a cross-Atlantic race are battling to get back to the high seas.
The five-man crew of Team Atlantic Splash were airlifted from their ocean rowing boat Mission Atlantic five days into the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which started last Wednesday.
They were among 16 teams taking part in the gruelling 3,000-mile row from the Canary Islands to Antigua, including the Row2Recovery team of servicemen.
Five days into the challenge the team, who are trying to raise £200,000 for four worthy causes, were airlifted after their boat started taking on water.
Skipper Neal Marsh, 44, Bastien LeClair, 30, Tom Hyland, 24, who all live in Worthing, West Sussex, and Marc Alderman, 28, from Folkestone, Kent, and Terry Munson, 27, from Essex, have arrived safely in the UK after their dramatic rescue.
But they are keen to recover Mission Atlantic and get it back to the start line so they can complete the challenge and raise £200,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Tall Ships Youth Trust, the British Heart Foundation and the Macular Society.
Mr Marsh said: "My priority is the safety of the team and I'd like to thank everyone involved in our rescue. We've spent the last two years training and fundraising to compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise money for our four chosen charities.
"I'm pleased to report that our experiences haven't dampened our love of ocean rowing and we're keen to get back out there as soon as we can, but we need your help."
Carsten Heron-Olsen, chief executive of race organisers Atlantic Campaigns, added: "The safety of our crews is of the utmost importance.
"A race support vessel is always on the water offering 24-hour support; safety advisers constantly monitor the fleet, and we work very closely with the maritime authorities in the Canary Islands and Antigua."