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Paraplegic rower thwarted in quest to row solo to Hawaii

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. HST, Jun 19, 2013

Paraplegic rower Angela Madsen has ended her effort to row from California to Hawaii because of rough seas that pushed her south, not west as she planned.

Madsen reported on her blog that she abandoned her effort at 3:45 a.m. Monday off the coast of southern California, when a Coast Guard rescue helicopter picked her up.

She had left Santa Cruz harbor in California on June 9 for what she had hoped would be an 80-day solo journey to Hawaii.

Madsen, 52, was attempting to become the first paraplegic woman to row across the Pacific. But currents took her south, and when she heard radio forecasts of gale-force winds, she called the Coast Guard to coordinate a rescue.

The Coast Guard directed a container ship to try to pick her up, but it ended up running over her rowing craft, she said in her blog, The Coast Guard then sent a helicopter, which picked her up Monday and took her to Santa Barbara. Her vessel, the Spirit of Orlando, had to be abandoned at sea.

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