Amateur rower in hand-built boat who had nearly finished 3,000-mile journey from US to UK rescued off British coast... by ship heading back to America

Tom Powell
Duncan Hutchinson has been rescued by a ship heading back to where he came from: Duncan Adrift/JustGiving

An amateur rower on an epic solo trip from New York to Britain in a hand-built wooden boat has been rescued by a ship heading back where he came from.

Duncan Hutchinson, from Scotland, was rescued by a merchant tanker in rough seas near the British coast after three months and more than 2,000 miles of rowing.

His boat is now being towed back to the US.

In the early hours of this morning he reported to the coastguard that he was battling 8ft waves around 863 miles away from Land’s End.

The 52-year-old had earlier reported that a crash of the 32ft boat’s on board electrics had left him with a lack of power.

Mr Hutchinson was rescued after getting into difficulty a short distance from the UK by a boat heading back where he came from (Facebook)

A post on his Facebook page read: “He will be devastated, especially with a technical problem rather than a physical or structural issue of the boat.

“Calling this in was probably the toughest thing Duncan’s ever had to do, but is testament to his selfless and professional approach throughout the journey.”

He took three years to build his wooden boat, named Sleipnir (Duncan Hutchinson / JustGiving)

An update then explained that Mr Hutchinson and his ship, Sleipnir, had been picked up by a freight vessel after 100 days at sea – effectively ending his chances of reaching the UK.

“As always, thank you to everyone for your support - Day 101 will be an emotional one for Duncan - and us all,” it read.

“The boat that rescued Duncan is bound for… New York!”

A live tracker shows Duncan Hutchinson's route across the Atlantic which cut out half way due to a technical failure (Duncan Hutchinson)

Mr Hutchinson was aiming to finish his 3,000-mile journey on the west coast of the Highlands in Lochinver. He reached the halfway point in his trip in early August.

HM Coastguard duty commander Mark Rodaway told the BBC: 'He's been picked up safe and well. We'll continue to keep in touch with him via the tanker crew while they progress their passage back towards New York.

"This is a good example of how well the National Maritime Operations Centre and the Coastguard national network co-ordinates long-range rescue missions. We're grateful to the tanker for responding and rescuing this rower".

Mr Hutchinson spent more than three years building his boat.

He used his trip to raise money for Water Aid, and received the support of former SNP leader Alex Salmond and footballer Kenny Miller before setting off.