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Coast Guard ends search for trans-Atlantic rower whose emergency beacon accidentally went off

The British soldier is making his way toward Florida to raise money for charity.
Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A British man rowing across the Atlantic doesn't need help, and the U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for him.

Jack Jarvis, 28, is making a solo trek across the ocean from Portugal to Miami.

An emergency positioning radio beacon was accidentally activated Sunday afternoon aboard his 23-foot boat. At the time, the Coast Guard says Jarvis was about 360 nautical miles east-northeast of Puerto Rico.

Searchers from the Virgin Islands and United Kingdom began coordinating with the Coast Guard to find him.

Just before 10 p.m. EST, a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry plane – that had been diverted from Air Station Cape Cod – found Jarvis' boat. But, despite VHF radio calls and flare launches, guard members couldn't make contact with him.

At that point, a cargo ship changed course to check on Jarvis, and a Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft launched from Clearwater to help.

Then, Monday morning, the Coast Guard finally got in touch with Jarvis' support team and confirmed he was OK. Watchstanders have since worked out a schedule, so they can keep checking in with his support team until he reaches Florida.

“I commend our watchstanders and aircraft crew for their professionalism and out-of-the box thinking, and extend our thanks and appreciation to the M/V Dyna Bulk which was ready to help us once they received the distress notification," Coast Guard Cmdr. Beau Powers wrote in a statement. "We also appreciate the involvement and cooperation of Mr. Jarvis’ support team, and wish him the best in completing the journey across the Atlantic Ocean.”

Jarvis, an Army soldier, named his row boat Budgie after his grandpa, according to BBC News. His grandad passed away from a brain tumor in 2007. Jarvis is hoping his journey will raise about $68,000 for Brainstrust, a UK charity that offers personalized support for patients with brain tumors and their families.

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