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Brit dad found dead on boat after taking on challenge to row 3,000 miles single-handedly across Atlantic for charity


A BRITISH dad was found dead in his boat after taking on a challenge to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Michael Holt, 54, died 700 miles into the charity challenge to cross the ocean single-handed after two years of training.

Brit dad Michael Holt was found dead in his boat


Brit dad Michael Holt was found dead in his boatCredit: WNS
Michael told his friends he was suffering from sea sickness


Michael told his friends he was suffering from sea sicknessCredit: WNS
The dad was found dead in his cabin four weeks after setting off


The dad was found dead in his cabin four weeks after setting offCredit: WNS

Welshman Michael was posting updates throughout the journey – and told friends he was suffering from sea sickness when he began to feel poorly.

He set off on January 27 for the 2942-mile journey which was expected to take between 40 – 110 days to row across.

Michael was 700 miles into the epic adventure of rowing from Gran Canaria to Barbados.

He had already battled strong winds, losing an oar, and a shark attacking his rudder before he fell ill.

His family said they had lost contact with him. Michael, a type 1 diabetic, was found dead in his cabin two days later – four weeks after setting off.

His brother David said: “Last night the fishing vessel Noruego accepted a tasking from Cape Verde Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and made directly for Michael’s coordinates.

“Very sadly, upon arrival, Michael was found dead inside his cabin.

“Of course this was not the ultimate conclusion we were looking for, but I am somewhat comforted knowing he died doing something he absolutely wanted to do with a passion and managed to row in excess of 700 miles in the process. An achievement in itself.

“This is a huge shock to myself, his wife Lynne and daughter Scarlett and my parents, not to mention wider family and friends.

“Many thanks for the kind words and wishes that you have already sent us during the past few days. They mean a great deal to all the family.”

Michael, originally from Porthmadog, North Wales, had been living in the Wirral and was raising money for Mind and Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services.

Just days before the tragedy he lost an oar and cut his hand when he was “nearly knocked overboard” by a strong wave.

His family said Michael was “well prepared” and had a spare oar in case of such emergencies and had medical supplies to avoid infections.

An update on February 15 told how his boat was attacked by a terrifying 10ft shark – believed to be a fearsome oceanic white-tip.

The post said: “Then something very unusual happened; the shark seemed to try and bite the rudder! Michael could hear and feel the commotion, and in his own words ‘it sounded like the shark had a party with my rudder’!

“This is extremely unusual to happen, and probably a case that it was hunting a fish under the boat and grabbed the rudder by mistake – but Michael took it all in his stride, and once the sharks had left, he just carried on rowing.”

Last year the football fan rowed solo across the Irish Sea from Porthmadog Harbour to Wicklow and back to raise money for Porthmadog FC.

In 2015, Mike underwent double reconstructive surgery to both his shoulders, a treatment which involved putting some 20 titanium rods into his body.

He said the surgery was required due to a “self-inflicted accident” linked to the management of his diabetes which he could not remember because he was so ill.

More to follow… For the latest news on this story keep checking back at The Sun Online.

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