Adventures,  Boating / Kayaking,  Marine,  Speaking

Ocean Rowing

The Harrowing Realities of Ocean Rowing: A Journey of Endurance and Survival


The Toby Wallace Atlantic Row – January/February 2016

Tragedy struck in the night of February 14th. Location close to 18 29′ N  039 06′ W. over a thousand miles from land.

Simon gave a loud warning shout, “big wave”. I looked up to see a monster swell coming at us fast out of the dark; it was the size of a two storey building. This rogue wave was arriving from unexpected direction intent on broadsiding our row boat. Not to break over but pummelled through us like a water tornado.

The immense power of unstoppable maelstrom of angry sea water lifted me and ripped my rowing seat from its fixings, luckily dumping me in a tangle, hard into the small corner of the low 300 mm gunnel and cabin bulkhead; luckily not over the side.

Moments later I heard Simon shout those most dreaded words.

Man Over Board”.

My hardwired primal instinct for survival kicked in.  I fought to get up to see the ‘Strokes’ seat was empty.

Mike was gone.

After 12 hr search by air and sea the rescue operation was called off.

The sea had taken my friend and colleague ‘Mike Johnson’.

At 68 years old, reflecting on my checkered past, I couldn’t help but remember Mike—a remarkable and gifted young man with a boundless future ahead of him. The question lingers: Why him?

12th September 2023 **UK Ocean Rower Sentenced After Crew Member Lost At Sea…

Simon Chalk appeared in court in Bristol, western England, on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to failing to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safe operation of his vessel, the Toby Wallace.

The charge, under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, was brought after 21-year-old Michael Johnson was swept from the craft on February 15, 2016. Chalk, who skippered and owned the vessel, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

#livealifetodiefor #MoreThanMyPast #itsrogerx #RNLI  #oceanrowing #worldrowing 

As I have grown older, well-travelled and somewhat more informed I truly appreciate ‘Time’ is my most precious resource. ‘A day at a time’, I accept I am passing through Life just this once!   I choose not to waste the Adventure!

I want to tell you more about my extraordinary journey.

Crew Profiles for the “TOBY WALLACE” January 2016

Toby Wallace Atlantic Row 2016

Atlantic Row 2016 Photos