Scottish Rower Injured Off Shinnecock Inlet Coast


UPDATE: Monday, 11:15 a.m.

The Coast Guard confirmd on Monday morning that Mr. MacDonald was rescued from his 24-foot ocean rowing craft Alliance Trust just after Midnight on Sunday.

While on the Coast Guard ship, the Cutter Sailfish, he was evaluated by a flight surgeon, who recommended he be medevaced due to his head injuries.

“We only had about 50 feet of visibility because the fog was so thick offshore making it difficult to locate the boat,” said Lt. James Provost, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish. “We were communicating with the rower by satellite phone and we had him vector us in by flashing a light.”

“When we first came upon him, he was in a lot of pain,” said Provost of the rower who’s face was covered in blood from a laceration to his head. “He was very thankful that we were there to help him and he was very relieved we were there.”

The rower was transferred to emergency medical services then taken to Bayonne Hospital.


A Scottish man sustained a serious head injury roughly 50 miles south of the Shinnecock Inlet while attempting a transatlantic trip Friday night, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Niall Iain MacDonald, 39, of Stornoway, Scotland, was traveling alone when he fell inside his boat and cut his head, according to MyeongHi Clegg, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. Mr. MacDonald alerted the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Falmouth, United Kingdom, which then notified the U.S. Coast Guard’s Atlantic area command center in Boston.

Mr. MacDonald was 50 nautical miles—about 57 regular miles—from the Shinnecock Inlet when he fell. He was found shortly after midnight on Saturday by the Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, homeported in Bayonne, New Jersey, and evaluated by an EMT. The EMT determined that the rower, whose face was covered in blood, could be transported to the Coast Guard cutter to be treated for injuries on his way back to New Jersey. He was taken to Bayonne Medical Center, Ms. Clegg said.

According to Mr. MacDonald’s website NY2SY, he was attempting to row from New York to Stornoway to raise funds for the Scottish Association For Mental Health. Mr. MacDonald began his solo row on June 5 and left from Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City.

“Unfortunately, he had the accident, so I don’t think he’ll be attempting this for quite some time,” Ms. Clegg said.

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