Wirral man dies rowing solo across the Atlantic for charity

Michael Holt
Michael Holt was rowing the Atlantic Ocean in aid of Diabetes UK Credit: Facebook: Needles and Pins Voyage

A man has died while attempting to row the Atlantic Ocean in a charity challenge.

Michael Holt, 54, from Heswall, Wirral, had set off in January to row solo from Gran Canaria to Barbados, 3,100 miles across the Atlantic.

But, after supporters raised concerns they had lost communication with Michael, formerly of Porthmadog, and his body was found in the cabin of his boat by rescuers.

His death was announced in a post on his Facebook page.

A tribute read: "He died doing something he absolutely wanted to do with a passion and managed to row in excess of 700 miles in the process. An achievement in itself."

Michael Holt pictured on his social media page

Michael left Gran Canaria on 27 January, with the voyage expected to take 55 days, and ending in Port St Charles in Barbados.

But, his Facebook page, a post on 20 February, said Michael had fallen ill due to a reaction to the antibiotics he had taken, and had decided to abandon his row, instead heading for Cape Verde.

His family then lost touch with him, and a MayDay signal was sent out, which alerted a fishing vessel and tanker.

A post on the same page in February described Michael as someone who saw 'the big picture' and understood the 'enormity' of what he was taking on.

It said: "He certainly isn't worried about world record speeds or getting anywhere by a specific time - he will make the best progress he can in the conditions that he is presented...but this is about the journey, and what he learns along the way."

Michael was raising money for Mind and Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, which works to support Liverpool’s voluntary communities.

He was a diabetic and said witnessing "the challenges of dealing with, managing and living with Type 1 Diabetes on a daily basis" had prompted him to take on the challenge.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office said the family of a British man was being supported after his death in Cape Verde.