OTTAWA, April 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation Africa to
Americas Expedition reached a dramatic conclusion with the capsizing of
the OAR Northwest rowboat 650 kilometres north of Puerto Rico this
weekend, but the rowers have been rescued and are safely back on shore
hoping to continue their marine conservation efforts on land.
"We took four years to prepare for the worst-case scenario and faced our
emergency with courage and teamwork, said Adam Kreek, one of the four
rowers and a gold medal Olympian. "Everyone came home safe, which was
our first goal. We collected a great amount of valuable scientific
data, and educated the next generation, giving kids in Canada, USA and
Senegal and around the world an appreciation for the vast wonder of the
natural environment and the wildlife it contains. We hope our
experience plants some seeds that will help some of these
impressionable minds to grow up to be adventurers, scientists,
explorers and conservationists, and do all of this safely."
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is extremely grateful to the rowers for
their incredible determination and commitment. "We extend a heroes'
welcome to our four incredible rowers who have persevered through
endless challenges to inspire adventure, conservation and education,"
said Wade Luzny, CEO Executive Vice President of the Canadian Wildlife
Federation. "The expedition may be over, but the legacy lives on."
The two American and two Canadian rowers including Olympic Gold Medalist
Adam Kreek left Dakar, Senegal in an 8.8 metre (29 foot) ocean rowboat
bound for Miami, Florida on Jan. 23. Research equipment on their vessel
collected daily scientific readings on such issues as water
temperature, salinity, alkalinity and ocean currents. The rowers also
shared their observations on marine life and rowing conditions online
through blogs, photography and videography which captivated the
attention of school students, teachers and the general public.
At about 4 am on April 6, the ocean rowboat suffered a catastrophic
capsize event, and was unable to self-right as designed. The four
rowers, including Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek, were able to safely
deploy a life raft and were rescued by a passing commercial vessel and
transported to San Juan. They completed 2,700 nautical miles of their
3,500 nautical mile journey.
Sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the expedition achieved
its goals of drawing attention to the health of marine ecosystems and
re-connecting the public with the outdoors, water sports and
"I am humbled and honoured by the incredible determination of these four
young men who put their lives on the line to row where no person has
rowed before to ensure a lasting legacy of healthy wildlife and
habitat," Luzny said.
For more information, visit OARNorthwest.org and YourWildAdventure.ca.
About OAR Northwest: Founded in 2005, OAR Northwest is a non-profit organization specializing
in Ocean Adventure Rowing and Education. OAR Northwest connects with
partners to propel youth, schools, community members and businesses to
showcase the outdoors, marine habitat and healthy lifestyles.
Face-to-face interactions with expedition crew members, online tracking
technology and adventure learning curriculum help achieve these goals.
For more information, visit OARnorthwest.org.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation: The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, non-profit charitable
organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our
natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the
environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education
programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources,
recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded
partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in
harmony with nature. For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
Image with caption: "Rowers Adam Kreek, Jordan Hanssen, Pat Fleming and Markus Pukonen. (CNW Group/Canadian Wildlife Federation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130408_C3457_PHOTO_EN_25298.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Wildlife Federation