Women row across Atlantic to help combat child trafficking
Battling waves of 30ft high and facing a gruelling 3,000 mile trip, a group of female rowers are racing across the Atlantic Ocean to raise cash to combat human trafficking.
The team ‘Row for Freedom’ set off a month ago from the Canary Islands in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and aim to reach their Barbados destination by the end of January.
In doing so, they hope to break two world records: for being the first all-women team to row across the Atlantic unaided, and for being the fastest crew.
But their biggest aim is to raise money for the charity ‘End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and the Trafficking of Children’ – ECPAT UK .
One of the rowers, Debbie Beadle runs ECPAT’s youth group for young women, some only 12 years old, who have been trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation, forced labour or domestic servitude.
A spokesperson for ECPAT said: “More people have gone into space or climbed Everest than have rowed the ocean.
“Debbie and the team have encountered many setbacks – their desalinator has broken, meaning they have to pump all drinking water by hand; one of the seats has broken, slowing them down, and they have lost many of their clothes overboard so are being forced to row naked much of the time. Not to mention the salt rashes, tiredness and storms.”
The team are currently in 6th place – with around 700 miles to go.
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And as ECPAT says: “It is a dangerous and arduous journey but one they hope will inspire others to fight against child trafficking.”