A sailor whose mission to cross the Atlantic in the smallest boat ever failed when it sank on the first day says he feels he “let people down.”
Andrew Bedwell, 49, spent three years building the 12-foot vessel in his garage in Lancashire, but returned to shore after it started leaking off the coast of Canada.
The ship, named Big C and with a top speed of only 2.5 mph, subsequently sank in the harbor, dashing his hopes of repairing it and trying again in the future.
Andrew started his journey from Newfoundland on May 28, but decided to return to port for safety reasons after noticing water in the boat.
Devastated, he placed one apology on social media today to sponsors and supporters he felt he had ‘let down’.
But he revealed that his wife had told him it’s “better to see you upset than me making a video crying because you’re not coming home.”
Andrew Bedwell is pictured doing a sea trial on the Big C ship he built in his garage
Andrew shared a message on Facebook earlier today, apologizing to supporters and sponsors
Andrew wrote on social media, “There are so many people who have helped, sponsored and encouraged me and I feel so terrible – I feel like I have let you all down.
“For now, I have to go home and process what happened. Thank you so much for your support and again, I can’t apologize enough.
“I leave you with a quote from my wife: ‘It’s better to see you upset than me making a video crying because you’re not coming home.'”
The sailor hand-built his fiberglass microyacht for three years and set sail on Saturday for the 1,900-mile solo voyage from St John’s, Newfoundland.
He planned to survive on vitamin-based drinks and food pouches made of beef jerky, raisins, and fat, which were molded into the walls of his cabin during his journey.
Andrew got his idea after reading a book by the current record holder Hugo Vihlen, who made the dangerous crossing in a 1.6 meter boat 30 years ago.
And then he started financing the ship himself, which he made in the garage of his home, in Scarisbrick, Lancashire.
But disaster struck a few hours into the journey when his ship began to let in water and he was forced to return to shore.
He told followers on Facebook, “After two long years, countless hours and god knows how much money — the dream of crossing the Atlantic in Big C is no more.
“We set off, but on the first day I noticed a small leak. To be sure, I returned to check it out.
At night the boat took on more water and when we lifted her out the ropes broke, the boat fell and caused masses of damage to the boat.
‘I’m beyond broken. I was hoping to drain her, fix it and then move on or take her back to the UK for a future date. Unfortunately, that is no longer possible now.’
He said at the time: ‘I don’t know what to say to everyone who has supported me, helped me, you have all been absolutely amazing. Big C is no more. She can’t go on. I can’t, I’m sorry.’
Andrew Bedwell is depicted carrying provisions before setting sail to cross the Atlantic
Unfortunately, after years of work, Andrew’s dreams were put on hold when the boat sank in Canada
Andrew Bedwell, from Lancashire, hoped to break the record for sailing the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic
Mr Bedwell, who works as a yacht and sail maker, previously explained that after the boat started to take on water there were plans to make adjustments and relaunch the vessel, which took years to build and a top speed of two and a half miles per hour.
The dad only needed to reach a point within 50 miles of the west of Ireland to claim the world record for the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic, but he had hoped to finish in Falmouth at the end of August.
As a sailor, he navigated Britain and traveled to the frozen reaches of the Arctic Circle.
He said before leaving that he wanted “a big challenge” before he was 50 and that he was “taking on a huge challenge in a small craft.”