Charity rowers rescued from English Channel

The boat Nick Townsend, inset, and half-brother Jason Rice will row from Weymouth to Jersey
The boat Nick Townsend, inset, and half-brother Jason Rice will row from Weymouth to Jersey

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A FORMER Army sergeant from Portsmouth and his brother have been rescued from a 36-hour rowing challenge across the English Channel.

Nick Townsend lost two pints of blood and suffered 11 shrapnel wounds while serving in Afghanistan in 2007.

He decided to row 120 miles across the Channel with his brother Jason Rice to raise funds for Help for Heroes.

The brothers set off at 6am on Thursday from Weymouth and hoped to reach St Helier in Jersey on Sunday.

But they were rescued by the RNLI off the coast of Alderney yesterday after strong winds and technical problems.

Nick, 30, and Jason, 44, had rowed 90 miles in 28 hours in their world record attempt.

They suffered problems when a cable snapped off the mast which held their light and radio aerial.

Jason said: ‘We suffered a number of technical problems and these combined with strong tidal movements and stronger than expected winds meant we had no alternative but to send up a distress flare.

‘Our flare was seen by a passing aircraft and we were soon rescued by the RNLI in the early hours.

‘We thank the RNLI for coming to our aid and all those that have supported our cause.’

The pair have not ruled out a future attempt.