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Heroic Transatlantic Rowers Celebrated

The heroic achievement of three Island friends who completed a transatlantic row to raise awareness of ocean pollution has been recognised by the Isle of Wight Council.

Xavier Baker, Paul Berry and Chris Mannion arrived in Antigua after rowing 3,000-miles (4,800 km) from the Canary Islands.

The trio were the 16th team to finish out of 38 taking part in The World's Toughest Row - Atlantic.

Last night (Wednesday), the rowers were invited to a special ceremony at County Hall where they were presented with a framed letter of congratulations and a commemorative shield bearing the council crest.

Congratulating the team on their amazing achievement, Councillor Claire Critchison, council chairman, said:

"Many people commented to me, on how inspirational their journey was and the significance of raising awareness of our fragile and important marine life.

"I felt it was important to formally recognise their efforts as ambassadors for the Island and I know many people, myself included, were following their progress online.

"They are just some of the incredible people we have on our Island and I would like to encourage everyone to take on challenges however large or small to promote the Island and our environment."

The annual race began in early December with solo, two, three, four and five-person crews from around the world taking on the challenge of rowing from the Canaries to the Caribbean.

The Mermaid Atlantic crew arrived into Nelson's Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua, having completed their crossing in 43 days, 17 hours and 58 minutes.

So far, they have raised more than £18,600 for three vital charities — Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage and The Seahorse Trust — and people can still donate by visiting the GiveWheel website.

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