Highlands & Islands

Atlantic rower Niall Iain Macdonald rescued after injury

Niall Iain Macdonald Image copyright Handout
Image caption Niall Iain Macdonald rowed from Stornoway to Ullapool in 2008

A Scottish rower trying to row single-handed across the Atlantic from New York to the Western Isles has been badly injured.

Stornoway rower Niall Iain Macdonald was forced to abandon his attempt after suffering a damaged back and cut head.

He contacted a control centre at Falmouth in Cornwall by satellite phone to say he had got into difficulties.

US Coast Guard sent a vessel to rescue him about 50 miles off the coast and he has now been taken back to New York.

Mr Macdonald, a Gaelic TV and radio presenter, set off a week ago.

US coastguards said he was facing 5ft high waves and foggy conditions when a helicopter was sent to assess his condition.

A spokesman said: "A coast guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended that the rower be medevaced due to his injuries."

He received treatment at Bayonne Hospital in New Jersey. His 24ft rowing boat was abandoned.

Dubbed NY2SY, the 3,400 mile crossing of the North Atlantic from the US east coast to Lewis was to raise money for the Scottish Association of Mental Health.

Mr Macdonald, 40, had said he expected the journey to take him at least three months to complete.

The last entry on his online diary of the voyage - posted four days ago - said he was facing easily the most testing conditions he had been in so far, but that he felt safe.

In 2008, the broadcaster rowed from Lewis, across the Minch, to Ullapool on the Scottish mainland.

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