Navy delivers champagne ‘hamper’ to trans-Atlantic rowers who ran out of food

Ministry of Defence photo of crew from HMS Portland as they answer the distress call from two transatlantic rowers, Tom Hudson and Pete Fletcher, who had not eaten for 20 days since running out of supplies.

Ministry of Defence photo of crew from HMS Portland as they answer the distress call from two transatlantic rowers, Tom Hudson and Pete Fletcher, who had not eaten for 20 days since running out of supplies.

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Two transatlantic rowers who ran out of supplies 20 days ago have been given a hot meal and food by a Royal Navy warship.

Tom Hudson and Pete Fletcher arrived 30 miles south west of the Scilly Isles 96 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes after setting off from New York.

Tom Hudson and Pete Fletcher

Tom Hudson and Pete Fletcher

The pair, who made it across the Atlantic unaided in their two-man MACPAC Challenger rowing boat, called Falmouth Coastguard as they had run out of food and water.

HMS Portland, which was operating in the area, answered the call and sent her sea boat across to the two men.

The Type 23 frigate provided the rowers with a hot meal of soup, pasta and a thermos flask of tea to help them through the cold, wet weather.

The sailors also handed the men food to last three days, 18 litres of water, chocolate for morale and a bottle of champagne to celebrate when they finally land.

It was humbling to be the first people the guys have seen for 97 days

Navy chef Emma Lloyd-Williams

Chef Emma Lloyd-Williams, who was in the seaboat when it met Mr Hudson and Mr Fletcher said: “It’s absolutely incredible what these guys are doing to raise money for the McGrath Foundation.

“It was humbling to be the first people the guys have seen for 97 days.”

The rowers are completing the challenge to support McGrath Foundation, an Australian charity which aims to raise awareness and put breast cancer nurses in communities.

They are aiming to become the first pair in history to row unassisted from New York to London, a journey of more than 3,000 nautical miles.

It is hoped that the men, who are based in Melbourne, will arrive in Falmouth, Cornwall, on Friday.

A post on the team’s Dare to Dream Facebook page described the assistance of HMS Portland as “incredibly amazing”.

“Pete and Tom have been surviving on minimal food for about a week now and we wanted them to have a good meal to celebrate the crossing of Bishops Rock,” it said.

“As such, we enlisted the help of warship HMS Portland from the British Navy to meet the boys and have their chef prepare some hot meals for the boys!

“Thats right, Pete and Tom had HMS Portland hand deliver them meals!!!

“How incredibly amazing and definitely the best way to celebrate the accomplishment!

“They said it was an absolutely breath taking experience and are so happy to have had a good meal and received a few supplies to get them to Falmouth!

“Huge shout out to the crew of HMS Portland for all their support!!”

The men have raised more than 12,000 Australian dollars (£5,496) for the charity so far.

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