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Penrhyn visitor Robinson rescued

Wednesday 11 October 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National


Penrhyn visitor Robinson rescued
Tom Robinson in Penrhyn after spending 160 days rowing at sea last year. 22121105

The young Tom Robinson who had spent a couple of weeks in Penrhyn last year before departing on his adventure was recently rescued at sea.

This week, Puna Vano the executive officer of Penrhyn saw the news online of Robinson’s rescue by a cruise ship and recalled the young man had spent some time with them last year.

In December last year, Robinson was welcomed by the people of Penrhyn after he had left Lima Province, central coast of Peru and was heading to Marquesas Islands. He wanted to be the youngest person to solo row the Pacific Ocean. He had designed and built his 7.3m boat Maiwar.

Vano said Robinson’s ETA to Penrhyn was December 9, 2022 and ETD was April 21, 2023.

Robinson first rowed 8800 kilometres to Penryhn, Cook Islands where he waited out the cyclone season before rowing 1500km to American Samoa. There, illness forced him to stop and recover before continuing.

After a month, he started his next leg, a two-month, 2500km row to Vanuatu. Three weeks later, he left for the final part of his journey. He had just 2000km left to Cairns, Australia.

Until recently, Robinson had been on the island of Vanuatu, his last stop of the row from Peru to Australia. On October 1, he began the final stage of his journey home. He was only at sea for three days and 22 hours when disaster struck on October 5.

He left Vanuatu and was making his way across the Bougainville Strait, which has notoriously strong currents and wind. A huge wave came crashing through the main hatch, flooded the cabin, and flipped his boat.

The emergency position-indicating radio beacon notified the Australian Maritime Safety Authorities.

They contacted New Caledonia’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre who subsequently ran the rescue.

A plane discovered Robinson 185 km from Vanuatu, atop the hull of his handmade boat.

Once they verified his location, a cruise ship took a 200km detour to pick him. He received medical care and treatment for dehydration and sunburn.

Robinson was to fly home to Brisbane, after arriving in Auckland

LL / Explorers Webb