Amazing coincidence as Scots rower’s boat abandoned in Atlantic washes up near mum’s home

Niall Iain Macdonald, 44, before setting off from Norfolk, Virginia, on his third attempt at the North Atlantic row. Picture: SAMH/PA Wire
Niall Iain Macdonald, 44, before setting off from Norfolk, Virginia, on his third attempt at the North Atlantic row. Picture: SAMH/PA Wire
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A Scottish rower’s boat has completed a remarkable journey, washing ashore close to his mother’s home 15 months after being abandoned at sea.

The boat, which rower Niall Iain Macdonald sailed on during his attempt to cross the Atlantic, was found on a beach near his mother’s childhood home in South Uist after it was abandoned last June due to severe weather.

Mr Macdonald, 44, found his boat, which he was rescued from during heavy seas in June 2018 when he was more than a quarter of the way into his third attempt at the North Atlantic challenge in four years.

The discovery completes an epic journey, meaning the vessel had covered 2,611 miles from where it was originally lost to reach its destination.

The Isle of Lewis rower was battered by severe weather during the night, which swamped his cabin, resulting in a system failure and forcing him to make a Mayday call before abandoning ship at sea.

He was picked up from his life raft on 15 June by a Dutch cargo ship, the DOLFIJNGRACHT.

The route taken by Mr Macdonald, where he lost his boat and where it washed ashore on Uist

The route taken by Mr Macdonald, where he lost his boat and where it washed ashore on Uist

Over one year later the Gaelic broadcaster found his boat, ALBA, washed up on a beach in South Uist, nearby Daliburgh, where his mother grew up.

He shared his news in a Facebook post on his NY2SY Solo North Atlantic Row page, saying: “Hello old friend. UPDATE: My boat was found yesterday. She came ashore on the beach at Askernish, South Uist - almost made it home.”

Earlier this year, another rowing boat from a Scottish man attempting the Transatlantic crossing from New York to his home in the West Highlands washed up near Trondheim in Norwway.

Duncan Hutchison, from Lochinver, abandoned the boat off Land’s End when he was rescued after rowing over half of the 3,000 mile journey in a hand-built wooden rowing boat.

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