Rowers complete 24-hour expedition despite bad weather

SINGAPORE - All 32 rowers from Mission Row Around Singapore Island (RASI) 2015 have landed safely back on shore after more than 24 hours at sea.

Their efforts are part of Mission RASI 2015, a charity rowing event that aims to raise $750,000 for charity organisation the Mission to Seafarers (MtS).

The mission helps sailors all over the world by giving them help and emotional support, as many are out at sea for months.

The 140km-long journey began at 11am on Wednesday at a dock outside the S.E.A Aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa.

During the first leg of the journey, the rowers had to contend with rough waters and strong winds - but the real challenge came later.

At about 8pm, they faced a thunderstorm that forced them to stop rowing temporarily. For safety reasons, the rowers got out of their boats and sought shelter in support vessels that had accompanied the two boats during the expedition.

Despite this setback, the rowers managed to complete their journey at about 11.40am on Thursday.

"I was tired and I almost fell asleep at the oar," said one of the rowers, Lewis Hart, 45.

"But we rallied together and it was absolutely fantastic. It's such a good cause."

As of Thursday, $500,000 had been raised through corporate and personal donations.

The fund-raising mission has been such a success that there are plans for a similar charity rowing expedition in 2017.

Said the chairman of Mission to Seafarers in Singapore, Lee Wai Pong, 59: "Not only have (the rowers) sacrificed time, they have contributed funds out of their own pockets. The funds that they raised in this process will lay the foundation for a sustainable future for the mission."

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