Highlands & Islands

Solo Atlantic rower's lost boat found in Norway

Duncan Hutchison's boat Image copyright Duncan Hutchison
Image caption Duncan Hutchison's boat was found in Sømna, Norway

A hand-built wooden rowing boat has been found in Norway six months after it was abandoned off Land's End during an attempted Transatlantic crossing.

Duncan Hutchison, from Lochinver, spent three years constructing the craft before attempting to row it from New York to his home in the west Highlands.

He was rescued in September after rowing more than half of his 3,000-mile (4,828 km) adventure.

The boat was found in Sømna, a municipality north of Trondheim.

The country has a link to the craft's name, Sleipnir, which is the name of an eight-legged horse from Norse mythology that could glide across the sea.

It was spotted floating close to shore at the weekend and was hauled ashore.

Image copyright Duncan Hutchison
Image caption Mr Hutchison said he never had any doubts about Sleipnir's chances of survival in rough seas

The Norwegians who found it were able to track down Mr Hutchison from the boat's registration number and personal items he was forced to leave behind.

Among Mr Hutchison's belongings still inside the boat was a ball with a red hand print on it in the style of Wilson, a prop in the Tom Hanks film Cast Away.

Mr Hutchison, who was rescued by a New York-bound tanker in bad weather, rough seas and after his power supply failed after 100 days at sea, is now making arrangements to have Sleipnir taken to Scotland.

He said he was not surprised the boat survived after he was forced to abandon it.

Mr Hutchison said: "I never had any qualms about the Sleipner's survival at sea, even in the worst conditions.

"My only concern was that once it came ashore it might be smashed up against rocks. Thankfully the people who found it were able to take it ashore."

Image copyright Duncan Hutchison
Image caption Duncan Hutchison and a feathered friend during his Atlantic challenge
Image caption Mr Hutchison started the crossing in May
Image copyright Duncan Hutchison
Image caption Mr Hutchison's Cast Away-style Wilson was still inside Sleipner when it was found in Norway

He added: "I thought it might end up in Norway because of the Gulf Stream."

Mr Hutchison's has raised thousands of pounds for the charity Wateraid from his venture.

He had been rescued earlier in his attempted crossing when he got into difficulty in stormy weather off New Jersey in the US.

His boat with all his belongings was even lost for a time, before washing up on a beach, allowing him to resume his attempt.

Image copyright Duncan Hutchison
Image caption Mr Hutchison spent three years building the boat for his adventure

Related Topics

More on this story