Dad apologises after bid to cross Atlantic in tiny DIY boat ends in heartbreak
A sailor whose mission to cross the Atlantic in the smallest ever boat failed when it sank on day one says he feels like he has ‘let people down’.
Andrew Bedwell, 49, spent three years building the 3.5-metre vessel in his garage in Lancashire, but returned to shore after it started leaking off the coast of Canada. The vessel, named Big C and with a top speed of just 2.5mph, then sank in the harbour, dashing his hopes of fixing the vessel and trying again in the future.
Devastated Andrew posted an apology on social media to sponsors and supporters he felt he’d ‘let down’. But he revealed his wife told him it’s ‘better to see you upset than for me to be doing a video crying as you won’t be coming home’.
Writing on social media, Andrew said said: “There are so many people who have helped me, sponsored me and cheered me on and I feel so awful – I feel I have let you all down.
“For now I need to get home and process what has happened. Thank you all so much for your support and once again I can’t apologise enough.
“I’ll leave you with a quote from my wife: ‘Better to see you upset than for me to be doing a video crying as you won’t be coming home’.”
The mariner spent three years hand-building his fibreglass micro-yacht and set off on the 1,900-mile solo trip from St John’s, Newfoundland, on Saturday (May 27). He planned to survive on vitamin-based drinks and food bags made of beef jerky, raisins, and fat during his passage, which were moulded into the walls of his cabin.
Andrew came up with his idea after reading a book by current record holder Hugo Vihlen, who made the dangerous crossing in a 1.6m (5ft 4inch) boat 30 years ago. And he then set about self-financing the vessel, which he fabricated in the garage of his home, in Scarisbrick.
But disaster struck just hours into the voyage when his ship started letting in water and he was forced to return to shore.
He told followers on Facebook: “After two long years, countless hours and god knows how much money – the dream of crossing the Atlantic in Big C is no more. We set off, but on the first day I noticed a small leak. Better to be safe, I turned back to check it out.
“Overnight the boat took on more water and when we lifted her out, the ropes snapped, the boat fell which caused masses of damage to the boat. I am beyond devastated.
“I hoped to drain her, fix it and then either carry on or return her to the UK for a future date. Sadly none of that is now possible.”