Damian Browne: The Irishman completes historic New York to Galway voyage after 112 days at sea

An Irishman is the first person to row from New York to Galway after 112 days at sea.

Former professional rugby player Damian Browne came ashore on the rocks at Furbo Beach, just outside Galway Harbor this morning to a warm welcome from friends, family and well-wishers.

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Damien Browne arrives in Galway. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mr. Browne kicked off the adventure, titled Project Empower, on Tuesday, June 14 at 3:10 p.m. in Manhattan.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News At One this afternoon, Mr Browne said the entire challenge had been a “struggle” from start to finish and he was happy to have his feet on “solid ground”.

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Irishman Damian Browne is the first person in history to row from New York to Galway after 112 days at sea. Image: Ray Ryan

He said it was a “special moment” to finally reach Galway and see his family and friends.

“I’ve been alone since day 13 and it lasted 112 days, so yeah, 99 days. You have to value and enjoy your own company to row the ocean at the best of times, even if you’re doing it with someone,” he said.

“The loneliness wasn’t actually anything that I found very challenging because I’m that kind of person, I get energy from my own company, it’s more the difficulties I’ve had with the conditions.

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Damian Browne’s one-year-old daughter, Elodie, is lifted into the air by her mother, Rozelle, as Damian became the first person in history to row from New York to Galway after 112 days at sea. Image: Ray Ryan

“I can’t explain how challenging the conditions were, obviously it’s the North Atlantic and it’s very changeable and every change I felt was negative.

“Constantly hit by adverse currents, so it was incredibly stressful because you would work so hard and invest so much to get a mile or two and then you could come off the oars for 15 minutes and you could do half that mile obliterate and you would have to lower your head again to retrieve it.

“I think the biggest impact is on your hands because you’re putting some serious force with the oars because they can jump out of your hands very easily if you’re not careful.”

The Instagram page dedicated to the adventure posted an update this morning and said Mr Browne got into trouble and was forced ashore near Furbo Beach just before 1am.

It was said that the Valentia Coast Guard, Gardaí and Emergency First Responders quickly arrived on the scene and took Mr Browne to safety.

The Post said it is “with mixed feelings that we have to inform you” that Mr Browne this morning became the first person in history to row from New York to Galway after 2,686 hours at sea and over 3,450 nautical miles rowed.

“After leaving Chelsea Piers, Manhattan at 03:10 on Tuesday, June 14, Damian had spent nearly 16 weeks or 112 days at sea and at every step and ultimately the final hours of this epic, unforgiving company mother Battled Mother Nature Nature prevailed and forced Damian ashore in precarious circumstances on the rocks at Furbo Beach in Galway,” reads the post.

“Damian immediately called Chris Martin, Project Empower’s land support officer, who in turn contacted the appropriate emergency services, who immediately mobilized.

“First on the scene were Garda Micheál Ó Ráinne from An Spidéil, Garda Vincent Kelly from Indreabhán and Garda Eoin O’Malley from Carna, who found Damian and Cushlamachree on the rocks and took Damian to safety.

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Damien Browne arrives at Galway Port this morning. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“Damian and the team at The Project Empower would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the emergency services and in particular the Valentia Coast Guard, the Gardaí and the Emergency First Responders who have looked after Damian so well.”

The Post said that while Mr Browne was “burned out at not having made it to Galway Port”, he is now “reunited with his family and in good spirits”.

Mr Browne started the journey with his friend Fergus Farrell as they aimed to break a world record while raising money for charity.

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Damian Browne began the journey with friend Fergus Farrell (left) to break a world record while raising money for charity. Image: Ray Ryan

The duo hoped to break the world record by rowing the North Atlantic in just 55 days, but unfortunately Mr Farrell had to stop after two weeks at sea.

He became ill on board and had to be taken off the boat to receive medical treatment due to severe exhaustion, aggravated by a recent spinal injury and a collapsed lung.

However, his friend went on alone and documented the trip on social media.

https://www.independent.ie/news/damian-browne-irish-man-completes-historic-row-from-new-york-to-galway-after-112-days-at-sea-42038173.html Damian Browne: The Irishman completes historic New York to Galway voyage after 112 days at sea

Fry Electronics Team

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