Liverpool rower Bernie Hollywood made final call home as boat capsized in Atlantic

Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham

A man who set out to row across the Atlantic phoned home to say goodbye when his boat overturned in the ocean.

Bernie Hollywood OBE, who was taking part in a 3,000 mile solo race between continents, feared the worst when his vessel capsized.

He told ITV Granada Reports, "I thought that was it."

The charity fundraiser from Liverpool was sailing between the islands of La Gomera in Spain and Antigua in the Caribbean when the frightening incident happened.

Mr Hollywood said: "I was underneath the water for about five minutes. Water started to ingress in the cabin.

"The boat has got self-righting technology but on this occasion it didn't come up for five minutes.

"So I had to make a telephone call to my friend to say 'Will you say goodbye to everybody for me?'

"I really didn't think the boat was coming back up at that stage."

Bernie Hollywood spoke to ITV Granada Reports presenters Lucy Meacock and Andy Bonner after being reunited with his dog Murphy.

Bernie's Boat of Hope adventure took him through 17 storms during the 109 days he was out at sea.

He actually capsized twice, during which he injured his leg.

He also contracted an infection, suffered a number of other ailments and had to contend with blistered lips.

Bernie, 63, who now lives near Chester, has raised nearly £115,000 on his journey to tackle mental health issues through creative arts and adventure.

"The essence of our campaign is to open up a conversation with young people around the world and in the United Kingdom about how they feel inside their heads and their hearts.

"I think we did that.

"I think the journey was meant to be long to see the endurance, resiliance, and to put my mental health to the test."

Boat of Hope, a two-week exhibition about Bernie's journey, opens in Liverpool Cathedral on 24 May 2023.